‘Misisti manum tuam ex alto’: Manichaean Imagery of Christ as God’s Hand in Augustine’s Confessions?

In: Mani and Augustine
Johannes van Oort
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This essay first explores Augustine’s conspicuous references to ‘God’s Hand’ in his Confessions by presenting a fresh translation and brief commentary of the relevant texts in the sequence as they appear in Augustine’s master piece. In the commentary, special attention is given to the possible signifiance of these texts to (former) Manichaean readers. It is concluded that Augustine’s eye-catching imagery is not only inspired by biblical language and—in all likelihood—by predecessors in the Christian tradition such as Irenaeus and especially Ambrose, but also strikingly coincides with a metaphor essential to the Manichaeans. This feature once again underlines the importance of the Manichaean element in Augustine’s Confessions.

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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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