Taking as their common subject the key early Christian anti-Manichaean work, the Acts of Archelaus (
Acta Archelai), the contributors to this volume offer a systematic exploration of what the text has to tell us about inter-religious contact, conflict, and comprehension at a crucial moment in religious history: the encounter between Christianity and Manichaeism along the political and cultural frontier zone of West Asia in the early fourth century CE. The contributions examine the text's structure, apologetic and polemical strategies, and possible sources, and through these analyses challenge received notions of ‘orthodoxy’ and ‘heresy’ in the mutual construction of identity that took place between these two claimants to the Christian heritage.
Jason BeDuhn, Ph.D. (Indiana University, 1995) in the Comparative Study of Religions, is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Northern Arizona University. He is the author of
The Manichaean Body: In Discipline and Ritual (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000), and co-editor, with Paul Mirecki, of
Emerging from Darkness: Studies on the Recovery of Manichaean Sources (Brill, 1997), and
The Light and the Darkness: Studies on Manichaeism and its World (Brill, 2001).
Paul Mirecki, Th.D. (Harvard, 1986) in History of Christian Origins, is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Kansas. He is the co-author, with Charles W. Hedrick, of
The Gospel of the Savior: A New Ancient Gospel (Polebridge Press, 1999) and co-editor, with Marvin Meyer, of
Ancient Magic and Ritual Power (Brill, 1995), and
Magic and Ritual in the Ancient World (Brill, 2002).
Contributors include: J. Kevin Coyle, Iain Gardner, Jason BeDuhn, Paul Mirecki, Byard Bennett, Tudor Sala, Timothy Pettipiece, and Kevin Kaatz.
"...a very successful achievement which, as the first book-length study of
Acts of Archelaus, deserves to be used an discussed in future studies of Manischaeism." – Nils Arne Pedersen,
Journal of Early Christian Studies, 2008
Frontiers of Faith has much to offer students of early Christianity and Manichaeism. [...] The contributors' honest and thoughtful engagement with intellectual and research questions ranging from source and textual criticism to the study of narrative representations and formation of cultural identities commends their collaborative work as a model for furture inquiries." – Richard LIm, Smith College,
The Catholic Biblical Quarterly 73 (2011)
Those interested in the early history of Christianity and its engagement with rival religious traditions, in Manichaeism, in apologetic and polemic, and in the construction of religious identity.