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Paul Linjamaa


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My dissertation explored the ethics of the Nag Hammadi-text The Tripartite Tractate. This extremely detailed early Christian text, the fifth tractate in Codex I, has received unduly little attention. By investigating the ethics of The Tripartite Tractate, the study not only illuminated the previously unstudied aspect of early Christian determinism, but also explores the ethical outlook of the most detailed Valentinian treaty extant today. Early Christian determinism has been presented as “Gnostic”, and then not taken seriously, or been disregarded as an invention of ancient intra-Christian polemics. The present study challenges this conception and presents insights into how early Christian determinism actually worked and effectively sustained viable and functioning ethics.

I am currently engaged in a three-year project entiteled "Who Would Have Read Heresy? A Study of the Scribal Signs in the Nag Hammadi Codices", funded by the Swedish Reseach Council. The project is devoted to studying an ancient Christian text collection often associated with heresy: the Coptic Nag Hammadi codices. The study approaches the texts from a previously neglected paleographic perspective, namely the scribal markings appearing in the texts’ margins. By investigating what passages in the texts were marked out and why, we may gain new insights into questions that have divided scholars for a long time: who owned and read these texts and for what purpose?


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