This chapter discusses a short work entitled The Proposition of a Manichaean (CPG 6998, 7011), which argues for the existence of two unoriginate first principles, one good and one evil. The Proposition has been transmitted in conjunction with three philosophical works written by Christian authors in the sixth to eleventh centuries (Zacharias of Mitylene’s Adversus Manichaeos, Paul the Persian’s Defensio, and John Italus’ Quaestiones quodlibetales). I provide a critical edition and English translation of the Proposition and show that the text was revised and adapted several times during the course of its transmission. Although a Manichaean origin cannot be securely established for the Proposition, the work was preserved and transmitted because it played a role in later Neoplatonic instruction in logic. The revisions made to the work arose from a need to simplify the text so that students could more easily follow the argument. The discussion and refutation of the Proposition by Christian authors can thus be seen as part of a broader trend toward expanding the study of paralogisms (fallacious arguments) in sixth-century teaching of logic.
La règle de vie et la loi sont des opposés, passés des antithèses d’Ænésidème à celles de Marcion. Ils se redéploient chez Mani (Adda, CMC) en annexant d’ autres figures d’ argumentation, comme le montrent en rapport avec Adda l’ allégorie des deux cités (Traité chinois) et en rapport avec Marcion les stances d’ hymnes abécédaires sur la rétribution des hypocrites (M28I).
Taking Paula Fredriksen’s Augustine and the Jews as representative of deeply entrenched assumptions regarding Manichaean hostile attitudes towards Judaism, the present study compares Augustine’s and Faustus’s treatment of the Jews within the Contra Faustum, and finds in Faustus a complex and nuanced set of attitudes towards Jews and Judaism which—contrary to Fredriksen—are more benign and favourable than Augustine’s. To the degree that Faustus strikes anti-Jewish notes, they derive from developments peculiar to western Manichaeism, in an environment where issues of biblical canon hardened Manichaean opposition to the Old Testament, which—rather than Jews—is the true target of Faustus’s polemic. By contrast, Mani and early Manichaeism show greater continuity with Jewish traditions, albeit in a sectarian Jewish-Christian form that apparently had marginalized Moses and Torah. Traces of this earlier position vis-à-vis Jewish traditions still can be found in Faustus.