I stumbled across a comment about Vita Nostra that the book refers to Gnosticism, a common trope from Russian-language SF. I thought it might be something to bear in mind, especially if you're still reading the book.
The "Characteristics" and "Concepts" sections from the Wikipedia article seem to be a decent, quick orientation. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gnosticism#Characteristics
We'll talk about it in the general discussion.