The definition of gnosticism was a 2nd-century philosophy that believed that a lesser and imperfect divinity called the Demiurge created the world while Christ was a messenger for a supreme divine being.
The existence of early Christian sects who believed divine knowledge of a supreme being was the way to redemption is an example of Gnosticism.
[ofteng-] an esoteric system of mystical religious and philosophical doctrines, stressing gnosis as essential to salvation, viewing matter as evil, and variously combining ideas derived from mythology, ancient Greek philosophy, ancient religions, and, eventually, Christianity
The doctrines of various religious sects flourishing especially in the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD in the Near East, teaching that the material world is the imperfect creation of a subordinate power or powers rather than of the perfect and unknowable Divine Being, and that the soul can transcend material existence by means of esoteric knowledge. The Mandaean religion preserves one system of Gnostic belief.
Gnostic + -ism