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  • Author or Editor: Rea Matsangou x
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Abstract

This chapter investigates how and why in both legal and ecclesiastical sources ascetic groups such as the Encratites and the Messalians are associated with the Manichaeans, as well as the way these ascetics are treated by the state and church authorities. The ultimate aim of the research is to answer the question: what does this link (made by the sources) reveal about the Manichaeans of the Roman East?

In modern scholarship it has been supported that this connection did not actually exist, but only served the rhetoric of the authorities against anarchist asceticism. However, this paper—taking into account (1) that these ascetics shared a series of common features (practices, beliefs behind the practices, and lifestyle) with the Manichaeans; (2) the emphasis of the sources that some of these features have been established by Manichaean leaders; and (3) the organized character of the Manichaean movement in contrast to the anarchist and irregular character of these ascetic groups—argues that the answer to the question whether the ‘Manichaean’ features of the Messalian or Encratite portrait were a heresiological construction or reflect a Manichaean influence upon anarchist Christian asceticism (as the sources imply) is not one-dimensional. A possible interpretation need not exclude the others.

In: Manichaeism and Early Christianity
Manichaeism in Greek anti-Manichaica & Roman Imperial Legislation
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The Manichaeans of the Roman East is the first monograph that synthesizes an enormous body of primary material to reconstruct the history of East-Roman Manichaeans, from the time their first missionaries arrived in the territory of the Roman East until the disappearance of Manichaeism from the Eastern Roman Empire. Through her systematically comparative and intertextual investigation of the sources, Matsangou provides a number of original approaches to issues such as the classification of Manichaeism, the socio-religious profile and lifestyle of East Roman Manichaeans, the triggers of the severe anti-Manichaean persecutions. She thoroughly analyses the relationship between Manichaean and Christian ascetics for the first time, suggesting a possible Manichaean impact on the rise of ascetic manifestations among Christian ascetics, monks, and individuals in society. By considering the dimensions of the phenomenon of crypto-Manichaeism and using the concept of “entryism”—borrowed from politics—as a theoretical model, Matsangou makes intriguing hypotheses suggesting an alternative explanation for the disappearance of Manichaeism from the Roman East.
In: The Manichaeans of the Roman East
In: The Manichaeans of the Roman East
In: The Manichaeans of the Roman East
In: The Manichaeans of the Roman East
In: The Manichaeans of the Roman East
In: The Manichaeans of the Roman East
In: The Manichaeans of the Roman East
In: The Manichaeans of the Roman East