Karen King, What is Gnosticism (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2003)
Review by W. H. C. Frend
The on-line version of the review itself just ends with the single word "Professor", but it appears to be by W. H. C. Frend. He has mixed feelings:
Her detailed and carefully argued work will provoke discussion, even though her main thesis fails. As early as the 170s, Celsus describes how some Christian dissenting groups called themselves “Gnostics” ( Contra Celsum v.61). Hence the term must stand. None the less, the author has moved the debate on. She will take her place with other great scholars who have tried to solve the problem, “What is Gnosticism?”This is a book I had better add to my Reading List (Amazon.com link); also worth reading on this topic is Michael Allen Williams, Rethinking "Gnosticism" (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1999).