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Mani in Dublin

Selected Papers from the Seventh International Conference of the International Association of Manichaean Studies in the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin, 8–12 September 2009

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Edited by Siegfried G. Richter, Charles Horton and Klaus Ohlhafer

In 2009 the Seventh International Conference of Manichaean Studies was held at the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin. The 22 selected papers of this volume offer a deep insight into the faith of Manichaean communities ranging from the very beginning of the 3rd century up to the last traces of worship today. Among others the authors deal with sources from Augustin, John the Grammarian, Ephrem the Syrian and further sources written in Coptic, Sogdian, Middle Persian, Parthian and Chinese. Several studies about Manichaean art and iconography offer a visual impression, which gives a new opportunity for understanding the religion of Light.

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Christian H. Bull

impediment to the immortal essential human. Thereafter the sensible world would be presented as ephemeral and illusory, devoid of truth. The candidate to the Hermetic rebirth should become a stranger to the world, probably achieved through ascetic practices and spiritual exercises. A number of Hermetic

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Christian H. Bull

minutiae. 2 If Egyptian priests wanted to communicate with a Grecophone clientele, and several sources indicate that they did, they would have to do so in a Greek idiom, as also Iamblichus indicates ( Myst. 8.4). The tradition of Hermes is thus an invented tradition, all the while presenting itself as

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Christian H. Bull

the divination simply took place in a privat home, purified for the occasion. 1 As noted by Smith, all three options, hut, house, or temple, are possible readings of the text, and so we must decide what is the most likely reading. Since the diviner is presented as a high-priest, we can assume that

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Christian H. Bull

as an insignificant discovery of “une jarre d’Égypte.” 1 Due to the slow process of publication, it was only a generation later that the text led scholars such as J.-P. Mahé and later Garth Fowden to postulate a way of Hermes. Commentators soon noticed the similarities between the present treatise

Linguistic Manifestations in the Trimorphic Protennoia and the Thunder: Perfect Mind

Analysed against the Background of Platonic and Stoic Dialectics

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Tilde Bak Halvgaard

Both the Thunder: Perfect Mind (NHC VI,2) and the Trimorphic Protennoia (NHC XIII,1) present their readers with goddesses who descend in such auditive terms as sound, voice, and word. In Linguistic Manifestations in the Trimorphic Protennoia and the Thunder: Perfect Mind, Tilde Bak Halvgaard argues that these presentations reflect a philosophical discussion about the nature of words and names, utterances and language, as well as the relationship between language and reality, inspired especially by Platonic and Stoic dialectics.
Her analysis of these linguistic manifestations against the background of ancient philosophy of language offers many new insights into the structure of the two texts and the paradoxical sayings of the Thunder: Perfect Mind.

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Christian H. Bull

have been presented in a narrative framework, explaining how the teachings were delivered to Hermes from a superhuman revealer such as Poimandres, Agathodaimon, or Kneph. 2 The teachings and myths in these early treatises, it has been argued, reflect the self-image, and advance the interests of

The Tradition of Hermes Trismegistus

The Egyptian Priestly Figure as a Teacher of Hellenized Wisdom

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Christian H. Bull

In The Tradition of Hermes Trismegistus, Christian H. Bull argues that the treatises attributed to Hermes Trismegistus reflect the spiritual exercises and ritual practices of loosely organized brotherhoods in Egypt. These small groups were directed by Egyptian priests educated in the traditional lore of the temples, but also conversant with Greek philosophy. Such priests, who were increasingly dispossessed with the gradual demise of the Egyptian temples, could find eager adherents among a Greek-speaking audience seeking for the wisdom of the Egyptian Hermes, who was widely considered to be an important source for the philosophies of Pythagoras and Plato. The volume contains a comprehensive analysis of the myths of Hermes Trismegistus, a reevaluation of the Way of Hermes, and a contextualization of this ritual tradition.

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Christian H. Bull

able to assume the mantle of father at the death of the previous master, and thus ensure the survival of the group. The ritual framework for a succession of fathers therefore seems to be present. Of course, in practice such a succession might be contested, and a group could gradually dissolve if the

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Christian H. Bull

and put the Hermetic teachings and rituals into practice. It will be the aim of the present contribution to throw light on this issue, through consecutively analyzing the Hermetic myths, the way of Hermes, and the religious context of the treatises. 1.1 The Status Quaestionis Since several scholars