New Jordan Stratford post at Wayfinding suggests that identifying Gnosticism as a literary genre also makes it open source.
“If I’ve brought anything to the table of contemporary Gnostic studies – and I hope that I have – it’s been in framing the debate; identifying Gnosticism as a literary genre, and in identifying its core defining characteristic in its soteriology. I’ve done this work in turn arrogantly, prayerfully, joyfully, shamelessly, inadvertently, deliberately, creatively, bitterly, originally, clumsily and on occasion gracefully.
The move of classifying Gnosticism as a genre is a risky one; it absolutely puts me outside the accepted heresiological paradigm of the academic world. And I have to accept that, although I did spend several years coming to terms with it. The payoff, however, is worth it, because it states plainly that Gnosticism, far from being an extinct antique heresy, is in fact Open Source. Any author in any era can pick up a pen and work within the symbolic language and peculiar strata of Gnostic aesthetic and create a genuinely, validly Gnostic text. The difficulty then lies in the task of determining whether or not the author is merely paying lip service to the surface trappings of Gnosticism, or delving deep into the rich mines of Gnostic theme and conveying and authentic Gnostic message. This process of reasoned, prayerful discernment is unlikely to win you many friends.” [via]