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In: Mani at the Court of the Persian Kings
In: Mani at the Court of the Persian Kings
In: Mani at the Court of the Persian Kings
In: Frontiers of Faith
In: Frontiers of Faith
Papers from the Sixth International Congress on Manichaeism
Editor: Jason BeDuhn
New Light on Manichaeism provides the latest discoveries and insights into the Manichaean religion throughout its more than one thousand year history, ranging from glimpses into the life and thought of Mani himself, to developments in doctrine and practice in the religion's North African, Iranian, Central Asian, and Chinese settings. The volume includes contributions from the leading scholars in the field, offering new reconstructions of Manichaean literary and artistic productions, and innovative analyses of the religious, social, and political dynamics that shaped the rise and fall of this world religion.
In: The Light and the Darkness
Author: Jason BeDuhn

Abstract

The widespread assumption that the Manichaean religion depended on some antecedent form of “Gnosticism” requires critical assessment. Manichaean myth shows no distinctive points of connection to theogonic, cosmogonic, or cosmological details in those narratives typically classed as belonging to “gnostic” sects. Striking narrative parallels between Manichaean and “gnostic” accounts of anthropogenesis, therefore, are anomalous, and may be best explained by independent dependence on a common source, rather than direct contact between Manichaeans and gnostic groups. A variety of evidence suggests this common source to be Jewish demiurgical traditions inspired by a desire to insulate God from responsibility for flaws in human nature. In light of this analysis, Manichaean continuity directly with Jewish narrative traditions, without “gnostic” mediation, appears to be more fundamental to the religion’s core myth than previously supposed.

In: Gnosis: Journal of Gnostic Studies
In: In Search of Truth. Augustine, Manichaeism and other Gnosticism
In: New Light on Manichaeism