(redirected from demiurges)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.


(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.
..... Click the link for more information.
 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.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



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 ?
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.
Thus the demiurge establishes the dynamic dyad of sacred and profane that is symbolized in the cosmic order by day and night, earth and heaven, above and below.
The demiurge's name/title is plural 'Elohim' and the plurality of man's 'creators' is confirmed in Genesis 1.26-7:
This is 'Yhwh's day' when Yhwh the demiurge will take back possession of his creation by re-consecrating it to himself for ever, as on the world's first Sabbath (Gn 2.3), having vanquished all the other Elohim who might lay claim to undivided kingship over the world.
In Gnostic writings, one can find metaphorical use of language for describing the confinement of humans in the realm ruled by Demiurge: numbness, intoxication (of the world), sleep, drunkenness or oblivion (about human origins).
In many Gnostic texts, Demiurge's realm--similarly to the idea of imprisonment--is depicted through metaphorical, portrait-like language.
This is especially apparent in the Apocryphon of John in which Demiurge, who is pictured as Old Testament God, produces flood which is allegorically read as an attempt to cover humankind with darkness: "For it (the ruler) had brought darkness down over all the earth." (28)
(33) This special type of knowledge brings liberation from the fallen world of Demiurge. It has a transformative effect since salvation is primarily understood as a return to the origins of mankind, namely God.
This recalls another motif expressed in many Gnostic texts because Demiurge along with his servants makes both material and psychic aspects of humans.
In the Apocryphon of John, the first man, Adam, became alive only through the breath of Demiurge, who blew a part of his spirit into his face.
Just like Demiurge, who did not realize he had given Adam a divine element that would lead him to liberation, the aliens were not aware of the secret deed of Dr.
Since they can be partly viewed as humans creators, particularly their personalities, their interest in John is parallel to what Demiurge says in the Apocryphon of John: