Gnosticism is a religious attitude that exploits Jewish, Christian and pagan traditions. Types of Muslim gnosticism, some of which are indebted to Manichaeism, flourished later in the first millennium. Secret knowledge (gnosis) is seen as the key to redemption. A supreme divine being is responsible for the spiritual world, and an inferior creator for the material world.

Dualism is a belief that the universe is controlled by two opposing forces, whether good and evil or material and spiritual.