Manichaeism: An Ancient Faith Rediscovered

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9780567031662: Manichaeism: An Ancient Faith Rediscovered

The first general comprehensive introduction to Manichaeism aimed at a non-specialist and undergraduate readership.>

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About the Author:

Dr Nicholas Baker-Brian is Lecturer in Theology at Cardiff University. He is an expert on the Religions of Late Antiquity, especially Manichaeism, and is the author of Manichaeism in the Later Roman Empire: A Study of Augustine's Contra Adimantum.

Review:

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'Nottoo long ago, most of what we knew about the Manichaeans - followers of thethird-century religious visionary Mani - came from the pens of their manyenemies. It was hard to understand how a religion that preached sexualabstinence and vegetarianism as a means to cope with a world ruled by Evil everenjoyed any success. Yet at its height Manichaeism spread from Mesopotamia to China in the east and Spain in the west; in North Africa,it appealed to the young Augustine of Hippo. In this richly informative newstudy, Nicholas Baker-Brian digests new discoveries and the explosion of newthinking they have provoked into a solid introduction to a belief system thatinfluenced religious thinking in Europe and Asiafor a millennium. He is especially attentive to the connection between lostrituals and myths that for the first time allows readers to see Manichaeism as acomprehensive set of ideas and practices. His exemplary handling of sources anddiscussion of how to use them make this book as much a primer for students ofantiquity as for students of religion.' — Harold Drake, Department of History, Universityof California, Santa Barbara, USA.


(Harold Drake)

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'In the studies of ancient religions and cultures fewdisciplines are more difficult to approach than Manichaeism, quite simply for its code of conduct, teachings andinternal organization has long puzzled scholars. Its study involves the analysis of a number of key areas —theology,mythology, comparative literature and ancient history to name but a few- anddeals with texts written in countless languages —namely Latin, ancient Greek,Syrian and Arabic- spanning a period of thirteen centuries, throughout a vastterritory. Nevertheless misconceptions, a biased historiographical heritage anda certain degree of sluggishness on the part of many modern scholars in dealingwith original sources have all contributed towards constructing a somewhatdistorted image of Manichaeism. Hence it is within this context that NicholasBaker-Brian´s book sets out to dispel such inaccuracies and work towardsestablishing a more coherent understanding of such a complicated topic,irrespective of the fragmentary and corrupt nature of many of the sources onMani´s life and teachings. In doing so, Dr. Baker-Brian contests that certainbeliefs in such misleading information and evidence derived from ancientheresiologists have long been perpetuated by modern scholars. Insightfulanalysis of original sources that had been carelessly read and therefore led tomethodological misreading are constant throughout this work and help decipherthe intricate layers that came to constitute Manichaeism. In free from stereotyping analysis Dr Baker-Brian setsout to deconstruct the monolithic conception that many scholars have come toembrace with regards the figure and doctrines of Mani, citing that theythemselves have projected their own concerns onto a very different historicalsetting and thus adopted many of the ill-found, often biased testimonies thatlate antique heresiologists had already ascribed to Mani´s doctrines. Inanalyzing each text and testimony within its own historical context, DrBaker-Brian goes on to reveal the various literary and historical strategiesthat helped make up the identity of Manichaeism, elaborating upon religious,mythological and historical elements, rearranged in a final portrait that bothclarifies and enriches our knowledge of the religion. Credit is due for theconstruction of this monograph: for ultimately, thanks largely to the author'sendeavors, such exposure seeks to help prevent both scholars and students fromrelying on simplistic and oversimplified concepts, in turn fortifying thebelief in Manichaeism as an autonomous discipline, and most importantlyperhaps, opening new lines of investigation for future research free fromuntainted historical inaccuracies. Once again, this is indeed a very muchwelcomed contribution that successfully manages to expurgate mistaken beliefsfrom original sources and modern bibliographies whilst at the same time offersa concise, detailed and substantiated image of Mani and his doctrine.' — AlbertoQuiroga Puertas, The University of Granada, Spain.


(Alberto Quiroga Puertas)

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'Nottoo long ago, most of what we knew about the Manichaeans - followers of thethird-century religious visionary Mani - came from the pens of their manyenemies. It was hard to understand how a religion that preached sexualabstinence and vegetarianism as a means to cope with a world ruled by Evil everenjoyed any success. Yet at its height Manichaeism spread from Mesopotamia to China in the east and Spain in the west; in North Africa,it appealed to the young Augustine of Hippo. In this richly informative newstudy, Nicholas Baker-Brian digests new discoveries and the explosion of newthinking they have provoked into a solid introduction to a belief system thatinfluenced religious thinking in Europe and Asiafor a millennium. He is especially attentive to the connection between lostrituals and myths that for the first time allows readers to see Manichaeism as acomprehensive set of ideas and practices. His exemplary handling of sources anddiscussion of how to use them make this book as much a primer for students ofantiquity as for students of religion.’ – Harold Drake, Department of History, Universityof California, Santa Barbara, USA.


(Sanford Lakoff)

Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4

'In the studies of ancient religions and cultures fewdisciplines are more difficult to approach than Manichaeism, quite simply for its code of conduct, teachings andinternal organization has long puzzled scholars. Its study involves the analysis of a number of key areas –theology,mythology, comparative literature and ancient history to name but a few- anddeals with texts written in countless languages –namely Latin, ancient Greek,Syrian and Arabic- spanning a period of thirteen centuries, throughout a vastterritory. Nevertheless misconceptions, a biased historiographical heritage anda certain degree of sluggishness on the part of many modern scholars in dealingwith original sources have all contributed towards constructing a somewhatdistorted image of Manichaeism. Hence it is within this context that NicholasBaker-Brian´s book sets out to dispel such inaccuracies and work towardsestablishing a more coherent understanding of such a complicated topic,irrespective of the fragmentary and corrupt nature of many of the sources onMani´s life and teachings. In doing so, Dr. Baker-Brian contests that certainbeliefs in such misleading information and evidence derived from ancientheresiologists have long been perpetuated by modern scholars. Insightfulanalysis of original sources that had been carelessly read and therefore led tomethodological misreading are constant throughout this work and help decipherthe intricate layers that came to constitute Manichaeism. In free from stereotyping analysis Dr Baker-Brian setsout to deconstruct the monolithic conception that many scholars have come toembrace with regards the figure and doctrines of Mani, citing that theythemselves have projected their own concerns onto a very different historicalsetting and thus adopted many of the ill-found, often biased testimonies thatlate antique heresiologists had already ascribed to Mani´s doctrines. Inanalyzing each text and testimony within its own historical context, DrBaker-Brian goes on to reveal the various literary and historical strategiesthat helped make up the identity of Manichaeism, elaborating upon religious,mythological and historical elements, rearranged in a final portrait that bothclarifies and enriches our knowledge of the religion. Credit is due for theconstruction of this monograph: for ultimately, thanks largely to the author’sendeavors, such exposure seeks to help prevent both scholars and students fromrelying on simplistic and oversimplified concepts, in turn fortifying thebelief in Manichaeism as an autonomous discipline, and most importantlyperhaps, opening new lines of investigation for future research free fromuntainted historical inaccuracies. Once again, this is indeed a very muchwelcomed contribution that successfully manages to expurgate mistaken beliefsfrom original sources and modern bibliographies whilst at the same time offersa concise, detailed and substantiated image of Mani and his doctrine.’ – AlbertoQuiroga Puertas, The University of Granada, Spain.


(Sanford Lakoff)

... manages to incorporate many critical perspectives and discussions... a straightforward and accessible treatment of a topic that is too often neglected. (Sanford Lakoff)

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Descrizione libro Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, United Kingdom, 2011. Hardback. Condizione libro: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book. This is the first general comprehensive introduction to Manichaeism aimed at a non-specialist and undergraduate readership. This study will be a historical and theological introduction to Manichaeism. It will comprise a biographical treatment of the founder Mani, situating his personality, his writings and his ideas within the Aramaic Christian tradition of third century (CE) Mesopotamia. It will provide a historical treatment of the Manichaean church in late antiquity (250-700 CE), detailing the emergence of Manichaeism in the late Roman and Byzantine empires, in addition to examining the continuation of Manichaean traditions in the eastern world (China) up to the thirteenth century and beyond. The book will consider the theology of Mani s system, with the aim of providing a clear-eyed treatment of the cosmogonic, scriptural and ecclesiological ideas forming its foundations. The study will base its analysis on original Manichaean literary sources, together with rehabilitating the representation of Manichaeism in those writings that polemicised against the religion. The study will aim to demonstrate the highly syncretic nature of Manichaeism, and will look to move forward traditional perceptions of the religion as being simply a form of Christian Gnostic Dualism. Codice libro della libreria AA79780567031662

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Descrizione libro Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, United Kingdom, 2011. Hardback. Condizione libro: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book. This is the first general comprehensive introduction to Manichaeism aimed at a non-specialist and undergraduate readership. This study will be a historical and theological introduction to Manichaeism. It will comprise a biographical treatment of the founder Mani, situating his personality, his writings and his ideas within the Aramaic Christian tradition of third century (CE) Mesopotamia. It will provide a historical treatment of the Manichaean church in late antiquity (250-700 CE), detailing the emergence of Manichaeism in the late Roman and Byzantine empires, in addition to examining the continuation of Manichaean traditions in the eastern world (China) up to the thirteenth century and beyond. The book will consider the theology of Mani s system, with the aim of providing a clear-eyed treatment of the cosmogonic, scriptural and ecclesiological ideas forming its foundations. The study will base its analysis on original Manichaean literary sources, together with rehabilitating the representation of Manichaeism in those writings that polemicised against the religion. The study will aim to demonstrate the highly syncretic nature of Manichaeism, and will look to move forward traditional perceptions of the religion as being simply a form of Christian Gnostic Dualism. Codice libro della libreria AA79780567031662

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