posted on Feb, 17 2003 @ 02:20 AM
It is very difficult to be sure of anything as far as Gnosticism is concerned: certainly it was considered to be a major heresy by the early church
and one of the reasons we know so little about it is that the early church eradicated it so successfully. Indeed, almost everything that we can be
sure of is found as quotations in anti-Gnostic writing.
I can think of no reason why some aspects of Gnosticism may not have reaced Ancient Britain: we certainly know from archaeology that Mithraism ( not
entirely dissimilar) did.
As F-M points out: the name simply refers to "knowing" and the mainstream Christian gnostics were largely concerned with expounding a somewhat
Manichaean dualistic Good v Evil view of the world with evil being dominant in the material world and with the OT being the work of an "evil" god.
But, as I've said, there is very little that one can say with certainty about Gnosticism: it's origins could well be pre-Christian.
Since then the term has been (mis-)used so widely that it has become almost meaningless and is used to characterise just about anything that offers
"revealed knowledge" and you'll find it linked to Buddha, Hinduism, Egyptian beliefs, Druidism and just about everything else.