demiurge

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demiurge

(dĕm`ēûrj') [Gr.,=workman, craftsman], name given by Plato in a mythological passage in the Timaeus to the creator God. In GnosticismGnosticism
, dualistic religious and philosophical movement of the late Hellenistic and early Christian eras. The term designates a wide assortment of sects, numerous by the 2d cent. A.D.
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 the Demiurge, creator of the material world, was not God but the Archon, or chief of the lowest order of spirits or aeons. According to the Gnostics, the Demiurge was able to endow man only with psyche (sensuous soul)—the pneuma (rational soul) having been added by God. The Gnostics identified the Demiurge with the Jehovah of the Hebrews. In philosophy the term is used to denote a divinity who is the builder of the universe rather than its creator.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Demiurge

 

the term denoting, in philosophy, the creator of any source; and in theology, god, or the creator of the world. In ancient Greece its chief meaning was social: demiourgoi were the craftmen and merchants in the population, as opposed to the landowning elite (eupatridae), the farmers (geomoroi), and the people involved in free professions, such as doctors, poets, and singers.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.