Augustine and Manichaean Christianity

Selected Papers from the First South African Conference on Augustine of Hippo, University of Pretoria, 24-26 April 2012


Based on several newly discovered texts, Augustine and Manichaean Christianity provides groundbreaking discussions of the relationship between the most influential church father of the West and the religion of his formative years. Augustine’s connection with Manichaean Christians was not only intense, but also enduring. This book unearths the essential background of writings such as Augustine’s Confessiones, De ordine and De vera religione, and discloses many a hidden Manichaean source of his powerful concepts of memory and the vision of God. Contributions by, among others, Iain Gardner, Therese Fuhrer, Jason BeDuhn, Majella Franzmann, Josef Lössl, Annemaré Kotzé and Nils Arne Pedersen.

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Johannes van Oort is Professor of Patristics in Nijmegen and Pretoria. He published some 25 books and many scholarly articles, mainly on Augustine and Manichaeism. Among his newly published books are Augustine and Manichaeism in the Latin West (ed., paperback edition Brill: Leiden-Boston 2012), Zugänge zur Gnosis (ed., with Chr. Markschies, Peeters: Leuven 2013) and Jerusalem and Babylon: A Study of Augustine's City of God (paperback edition Brill: Leiden-Boston 2013).
'This volume is a welcome addition to the growing body of research on Augustine’s Manichaean background. As it becomes increasingly clear, an understanding of Manichaean thought and practice is essential to understanding Augustine’s own literary output. So much of what he says appears to be informed by his Manichaean past and is often addressed (at least in part) to members of the community he hopes will follow his own trajectory. Hopefully, more Augustinian scholars will be willing to explore this important and compelling context that shaped Augustine’s thought.' -- Timothy Pettipiece, In: Gnosis: Journal of Gnostic Studies, Volume 2: Issue 2, 2017

"...very stimulating insights concerning the relationship between Manichaean and Augustinian thought. [...] the volume as a whole is a coherent collection that makes a significant contribution to this neglected area of study." – Paul Foster, University of Edinburgh, in: The Expository Times 126/2

Preface: Augustine and Manichaean Christianity: A Paradigm Shift in Augustinian Studies?
Jason David BeDuhn, “Not to Depart from Christ”: Augustine Between “Manichaean” and “Catholic” Christianity
Jacob Albert van den Berg, Biblical Quotations in Faustus’ Capitula
Majella Franzmann, Augustine and Manichaean Almsgiving: Understanding a Universal Religion with Exclusivist Practices
Therese Fuhrer, Re-coding Manichaean Imagery: the Dramatic Setting of Augustine’s De ordine
Iain Gardner, Mani, Augustine and the Vision of God
Andreas Hoffmann, The Few and the Many: A Motif of Augustine’s Controversy with the Manichaeans
Annemaré Kotzé, A Protreptic to a Liminal Manichaean at the Centre of Augustine’s Confessions 4
Josef Lössl, Augustine on “The True Religion”: Reflections of Manichaeism in De vera religione
Johannes van Oort, God, Memory and Beauty: A ‘Manichaean’ Analysis of Augustine’s Confessions, Book 10,1-38
Nils Arne Pedersen, Manichaean Self-Designations in the Western Tradition
Appendix: Research Overview
Gijs Martijn van Gaans, The Manichaean Bishop Faustus: The State of Research After a Century of Scholarship
All interested in the history of the Early Church, its developments and ‘heresies’, and anyone concerned with the study of Augustine and Manichaeism.
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