God, Memory and Beauty: A ‘Manichaean’ Analysis of Augustine’s Confessions 10,1–38

In: Mani and Augustine
Johannes van Oort
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This essay provides a ‘Manichaean’ analysis of conf. 10,1–38. It starts by analyzing the typical (anti-)Manichaean elements in the first part of Book 10. After that it focuses on Augustine’s search for God in memory. As in Manichaeism, the five senses are considered as a means of acquiring knowledge of God. Augustine’s subsequent exposition of memory (in which God may be found) displays striking parallels with the Coptic Manichaean Kephalaion 56. Moreover, the apex of Augustine’s account of his search for God, his depiction of God as Beauty, has striking parallels in Manichaean texts as well.

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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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