The Young Augustine’s Knowledge of Manichaeism: An Analysis of the Confessions and Some Other Relevant Texts

In: Mani and Augustine
Johannes van Oort
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Based on an analysis of the relevant passages in the Confessiones and some other evidence, this essay argues: 1. that already young Augustine, during his years as a Manichaean auditor, acquired a thorough knowledge of Manichaeism; 2. that he obtained this thorough knowledge mainly or in any case partly by reading and studying works of Mani himself. It is also argued that in all likelihood Augustine’s Confessiones testify that the Manichaeans used pictorial books during their mission activities in Roman Africa, maybe even Mani’s so-called Image, the painted picture book illustrating his gnostic doctrine.

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Mani and Augustine

Collected Essays on Mani, Manichaeism and Augustine

Series:  Nag Hammadi and Manichaean Studies, Volume: 97


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