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REL 275 Dr. Versluis

Assignment 1

For this first assignment, I'd like you to choose one of the following options:


1. Choose a contemporary movie, song, television show, or CD that you think exemplifies stereotypical Gnosticism, and show in what ways it could be read as Gnostic, drawing on specific citations from the NHL or elsewhere to make your case.  Introduce the film or band, offer your argument, and acknowledge your opposition early on.

Alternative assignment:

2. Continue and expand your assessment of whether one of the Nag Hammadi Library books in fact corresponds to some or all of the ten elements of stereotypical Gnosticism that we discussed in class.

Print out your argument, which should be at least 3 pages, doublespaced. This is, of course, the minimum length. If you want to do more, you could cite outside sources, like Hans Jonas's The Gnostic Religion or Jacques LaCarriere’s The Gnostics, which are on reserve in the library. You're also free to write a longer paper - it's up to you. Bring a rough draft to class on Mon., Jan. 28. The final draft is due (with the rough draft attached) at the beginning of class on Mon., Feb. 4.



1. clear, creative, thoughtful argument___

2. good use of evidence___

3. grammar problems___

4. citation form___

5. clear improvement from draft; sound conclusions___

6. good use of sources ___

7. clear understanding of subject___

8. focused paragraphs (inc. intro. and conc.); logical points and development___