The Thought of Norea: Christ's Sister Savior
What you'll learn
- Expand your views of salvation and the nature of Saviors from the period of time before the fourth century.
- Discover new ways to think about the connection between the divine and human.
- Learn about the other saviors in comparison with Norea.
- Become knowledgeable about another one of the important texts within the Nag Hammadi Library
- Realize the value of a female Savior for both antiquity and today
- Students with some familiarity with the New Testament be able to make some comparisons with the Thought of Norea, but knowledge of the New Testament is not necessary.
- No prior knowledge of Nag Hammadi texts is necessary, but the earlier Udemy courses in the Nag Hammadi series on the Gospel of Thomas and the Letter of Peter to Philip (by Early Christian Texts) would provide enhanced context.
In this course, you will discover that a female divine Savior was among a few other Saviors who helped the early Christ followers. The Thought of Norea, found in the Nag Hammadi texts in 1945, not only indicates the reality of this female Savior, but in her divine-human state, she illustrates for humanity how her divinity might be attainable by others.
Envision the Female Savior
Demonstrating the Practice of Self-Generated Divinity
· Discover Norea’s Savior-Relatives: Seth, Christ, and Sophia
· Learn from Norea how the divine Mind can become manifest in the human experience
· Challenge yourself to consider a female Savior in your 21st-century life
· Expand your understanding of Biblical times
The Thought of Norea, a second-century text from the Nag Hammadi Library, invites some intriguing parallels with other human-divine beings of the period.
Norea finds herself in a helpless situation in which she pleads for divine help. Her prayers are heard, and she inherits the ‘First Mind,’ by which she is able to practice self-generation. She now joins the other imperishable ones and speak with words of life. By comparison with the other Saviors of her time, she has remarkable strength, and as a female confronts both ancient and modern patriarchal attitudes.
Only a few scholars have seriously studied this relatively recent discovery, and your participation in the course would contribute to the world’s appreciation of a female savior who could benefit the world today.
What it means today
We can imagine the difference it would make in the world today if we were to take a female savior as seriously as we have taken the male savior for the past two millennia. Not only would girls and women drop their long-entrenched expectations of inferior worth, but men often grow more in their humanity when their models extend beyond exaggerated masculinity.
Contents and Overview
The course includes a brief explanation of the discovery of the long lost text among the Nag Hammadi codices, but the focus is on the character of Norea and how she helps us conceive of divinity manifesting itself within humanity.
You will consider some of the main concepts of antiquity that made Norea both important in history and somewhat elusive to our modern sensibilities. And you will learn to identify Norea’s striking resemblances to other Savior-figures within the Hebrew and Christian contexts. Some of these ideas will surprise you, and some may remain mysterious to you.
But the more you learn of these ancient texts, their main characters, and attitudes expressed by the authors, the more you’ll be able to interpret them as well as the Biblical texts that put them in context.
You will have the advantage of two experienced Early Christian scholars partnering to teach this course. We both love the idea of the female Savior for antiquity and our own postmodern world. But we bring different ways of thinking about it, and our differences should help you learn something about yourself. Hearing different views will help you make up your own mind when you’re ready to interpret the text yourself.
What you need to know and what you will learn
You do not need any prior knowledge of the Bible to enjoy this course. But if you are familiar with it, you will especially appreciate the section that makes a comparison with Christ.
Besides the video lectures, there are two ways you’ll be able to test your own understanding of the course: 1) two quizzes will serve as a review and refresher for the material you will have learned; and also 2) there are a couple of places where we’ll give you the opportunity to pause and ponder some of the ways in which you might put these ideas into practice for yourself.
By the end of the course, you will have gained a greater insight into the world of the first centuries after Jesus. For those of you who have taken the other two Nag Hammadi courses from the Early Christianity Texts series, you will appreciate how the Thought of Norea enhances your understanding of the world of the early followers of Jesus. You’ll feel the strength of Norea encouraging you to practice your own form of ‘self-generating’ the divine into your life. You’ll should also continue to think more deeply about your own capacity to heal and help others and where that comes from.
Who this course is for:
- Feminists who value evidence of the contributions of female examples
- Anyone who may be interested in deeper answers to big religious questions
- Enthusiastic but untrained Bible readers
- Spiritual seekers
- Historians who especially enjoy the Christian element of antiquity
- People who are curious about the development of early Christianity
My PhD, from the University of Birmingham, UK, is in religion and theology. I studied forgotten ancient Christian texts and their healing messages in conjunction with what they mean to the modern world. My personal experience with healing helps me recognize and understand the relevance of the ancient texts. And through my academic work in Practical Theology, I strive to learn from my students how their own experiences enlighten the texts as well.