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Durham University

Department of Theology and Religion


Publication details for Dr Kimberley A. Fowler

Fowler, Kimberley A. (2017). The Ascent of the Soul and the Pachomians: Interpreting the Exegesis on the Soul (nhc ii,6) within a Fourth-Century Monastic Context. Gnosis 2(1): 63-93.

Author(s) from Durham


The Exegesis on the Soul (nhc ii,6) allegorizes the degradation and re-ascent of the soul. Recently, scholars have reconsidered whether Pachomian monks produced and read the Nag Hammadi Codices, largely based upon codicological evidence. For Pachomians, the soul’s ascent from the body constituted the fulfilment of their ascetic regime. This article offers support for the ‘Pachomian connection’ by analyzing the Exegesis on the Soul alongside Pachomian literature. It argues that shared exegetical tendencies and a common approach to modes of ascetic practice and repentance strengthen the case for monastic readership and ownership of the Nag Hammadi Codices.