Demonstrative Proof in Defence of God

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.


EUR €252.00USD $304.00

Biographical Note

Nils Arne Pedersen, Dr. Theol. (1996), University of Aarhus (Denmark), is Associate Professor of Church History. He has published on Patristics and Manichaeism including Studies in The Sermon on the Great War (Aarhus University Press, 1996) and Manichaean Homilies (Brepols).

Review Quote

"Il n'est sans doute pas exagéré de saluer la parution du livre de Nils Arne Pedersen comme un événement…Tous ceux que s’intéressent au Contra manichaeos tireront grand profit des analyses fines de Pedersen…" – Paul-Hubert Poirier, Laval théologique et philosophique, 2005

Table of contents

Preface I. Introduction II. Summary of Contents III. Receptions, editions and scholarship history of ‘Contra Manichaeos’ IV. The historical and literary context for Titus of Bostra’s ‘Contra Manichaeos’ V. The audience for ‘Contra Manichaeos’ and the portrayal of Manichaeism that Titus wished to present to them VI. The Manichaean texts used by Titus of Bostra VII. Titus of Bostra’s philosophical position VIII. Titus of Bostra’s interpretation of the Paradise narrative IX. Comparison between the exegesis of Genesis in Titus of Bostra and in a number of writers in “the Antiochene School” X. Summary of the study’s most important conclusions XI. Critical examinations of the text Bibliography Indices