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Papers from the Sixth International Congress on Manichaeism
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: 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
In: The Light and the Darkness


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
The Christian Encounter with Manichaeism in the Acts of Archelaus
Editors: and
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.