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  • Author or Editor: Nils Arne Pedersen x
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In: Vigiliae Christianae
In: Mani in Dublin
In: Augustine and Manichaean Christianity
In: Mystery and Secrecy in the Nag Hammadi Collection and Other Ancient Literature: Ideas and Practices
In: In Search of Truth. Augustine, Manichaeism and other Gnosticism

Abstract

In 1957 the Swedish scholar Torgny Bohlin argued that Pelagius primarily constructed his theology with the aim of opposing one theological enemy, Manichaeism, with its determinism and doctrine that human flesh was evil and sin belonged to nature. Subsequently, most scholars have repeated this hypothesis without re-examining the case. However, this paper argues that Bohlin’s view of Manichaeism was only based on insufficient research literature and on the descriptions of Manichaeism as a deterministic system in Patristic sources. However, Manichaeism was, as we know from sources stemming from its own adherents, a religion centred on penance, judgment, and the possibility of eternal damnation, thus claiming that man is responsible for his own sin. The Patristic image of Manichaeism was a stylization and distortion which made it represent a consistent philosophical position, a denial of free will and confirmation of determinism. On this background all works of Pelagius either fully or partially preserved are scrutinized in the paper for explicit or implicit references to Manichaeism. It is shown that the terms “Manichaeus” and “Manichaeans” refer to stereotypes used by Pelagius to characterize his contemporary opponents within the Catholic Church.

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In: Manichaeism and Early Christianity
A Study of Titus of Bostra’s Contra Manichaeos — The Work’s Sources, Aims and Relation to its Contemporary Theology
This volume is the first extensive study of a Christian work from the 4th century, Titus of Bostra’s Contra Manichaeos, which is the only text from the early Greek Church setting out a comprehensive theodicy.
The study illuminates the text’s relation to contemporary theology and philosophy and interprets it in the light of the ideological conflicts between pagans, Catholic Christians and Manichaeans in the 4th century. It includes an examination of the possible Manichaean sources used by Titus, and, furthermore, a critical text study and translation of central passages in Contra Manichaeos, based both on the Greek text and the Syriac version of it.
In: Demonstrative Proof in Defence of God