Pentadic Redaction in the Manichaean Kephalaia


Discovered in 1929, the Manichaean Kephalaia have opened up an important window on the early development of Manichaean doctrine. This study identifies a significant redactional tendency whereby the compilers of the text sought to clarify ambiguities in “canonical” Manichaean tradition by means of five-part numerical series. This discovery challenges the conventional wisdom of Manichaean scholarship, which has long maintained that, since Mani recorded his own teachings in a series of what later became canonical writings, Manichaean doctrines were transmitted relatively unchanged from the master to successive generations of disciples. Since this assumption is now called into question, it now becomes necessary to re-evaluate received notions about the shape of both the Manichaean “canon” and “tradition.”
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Biographical Note

Timothy Pettipiece, Ph.D (2006) in Sciences des religions at Université Laval, is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Ottawa. He has published a number of articles and chapters on literary aspects of Coptic Manichaean texts.

Review Quote

...une très importante contribution aux études manichéennes, pour la bonne et simple raison que tout, ou presque, y est neuf. Le lecteur appréciera aussi la précision et la clarté avec lesquelles les résultats de la recherche sont présentés. Paul-Hubert Poirier, Laval théologique et philosophique ' P. has raised interesting questions and pointed the way to some answers.' Desmond Durkin-Meisterernst, Theologische Literaturzeitung 136 (2011)

Table of contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS Acknowledgments Abbreviations PART I: PENTADIC REDACTION IN THE MANICHAEAN KEPHALAIA Introduction Chapter 1: Basic Ontological Patterning Chapter 2: Theological Patterning I: Light-Realm Chapter 3: Theological Patterning II: Dark-Realm Chapter 4: Other Forms of Patterning Conclusions and Implications PART II: TRANSLATIONS FROM THE KEPHALAIA OF THE TEACHER [BERLIN CODEX] Appendix:: Theodore Bar Khonai’s Résumé of the Manichaean Myth (Annotated Translation) Works Cited Index


All those interested in Manichaean texts, redaction history, and late antique religion, as well as specialists in Coptic language and literature.