Gnosticism

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Irenaeus, who first used "gnostic" to describe heresies

Gnosticism (from gnostikos, "learned", from gnōsis, knowledge) is a modern scholarly term for a set of religious beliefs and spiritual practices found among some early Christian and non-Christian groups called "gnostic" ("knowing") by Irenaeus and other early Christian leaders. In the past many scholars believed that gnosticism pre-dated Christianity, but now it is generally accepted that gnosticism developed into a coherent movement only in the second century CE.

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