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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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.
References in periodicals archive ?
If Philolaus' Harmony was replaced by the Demiurge, then Sameness and Difference might be almost literally joined together (although they were naturally 'hard to mix', 35a8) by him to produce the physical world.
We illustrate our theory of orature, and of Pacere as demiurge of orature in Burkinabe emerging literature, with Des entrailles de la terre.
Reading verse 2 as it appears in Hebrew, the biblical demiurge does not 'create' ex nihilo, his aerial presence intervenes from above in a pre-existing watery chaos.
/ This heart, belonging infinitely to the gods, / When will it be raped by the demiurge?" Since "it" in line four clearly refers to "this heart" in line three, I was left with the question of which possible referent of the earlier "it" in line two would also be compatible with "this heart." Did "heart" better correspond with "time" (line one) or, as Gadamer argues, with "fortress" (line two)?
(37) There i s an obvious reference to Plato's Timaeus, where the Demiurge arranges the celestial bodies in such a way that the soul of the heavens has a geometrical structure.
For the deconstructive and materialist critique of this narrative stemming from Henri Lefebvre's Production of Space, the new cartography is seen as a Faustian demiurge, actively producing the regimented spaces of an emergent capitalist order in the service of which traditional spaces are consigned to the trash-heaps of history, myth, and legend.
When Maria del Carmen Boza calls Castro "a megalomaniacal demiurge with a country for clay," she also reduces Cubans to the status of mere marionettes.
It is, she believes, both work of art in its own right and portrait of the ideal artist or Demiurge. She builds her aesthetic round these two important notions.
In his dialogue, Timaeus, the Demiurge fashioned the material world out of pre-existent matter, using transcendent ideals as models.
The original gnostics, who reached their peak of influence in the first and second centuries, held that the creation of our world was a colossal, cosmic mistake--the handiwork of a pseudo-deity called Ialdabaoth, a deceitful, if clumsy, demiurge. The true God had retreated far beyond the reach of the created universe--which, in gnostic mythology, is commonly described as an "abortion"--and into a realm of unconditioned repose and nonbeing known as the Pleroma.
Weber set his face against the Wagnerian imperative in Nietzsche's politics to which Diggens succumbs, the impulse to make oneself the conductor, dramaturge and demiurge of tragic cultural renewal.
As custodian, it provides protection, policing, and regulation of infant industries; as midwife, it attracts private enterprises into new sectors by subsidies, tax breaks, and other devices; in the husbandry role, it teaches, cultivates, nurtures, and prods entrepreneurial forces that have been activated; as demiurge, it becomes directly involved in productive activities that complement private investment, only to denationalize later when industries are established.