Augustine and Manichaean Christianity: Selected Papers from by van Johannes Oort

By van Johannes Oort

In line with numerous newly stumbled on texts, Augustine and Manichaean Christianity offers groundbreaking discussions of the connection among the main influential church father of the West and the faith of his youth. Augustine’s reference to Manichaean Christians used to be not just extreme, but in addition enduring. This publication reveals the basic historical past of writings akin to Augustine’s Confessiones, De ordine and De vera religione, and discloses many a hidden Manichaean resource of his robust suggestions of reminiscence and the imaginative and prescient of God. Contributions by way of, between others, Iain Gardner, Therese Fuhrer, Jason BeDuhn, Majella Franzmann, Josef Lössl, Annemaré Kotzé and Nils Arne Pedersen.

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Extra resources for Augustine and Manichaean Christianity: Selected Papers from the First South African Conference on Augustine of Hippo, University of Pretoria, 24-26 April 2012

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An. 76; cf. ord. 23), just as he clung to the idea of an eternal immaterial realm over the Nicene tenet of a future Kingdom of God (ord. 32; cf. Retr. 2). We fail to see him put his primary effort into mastering these primary creedal concepts that distinguished the Nicene position from the Manichaean one. He had greater interest in the ramifications of Platonic immaterialism. Only the distinctive Nicene answer to the problem of evil attracted his interest (ord. 46; lib. arb. passim). Augustine could not simply carry on his philosophical pursuits in peace, however.

Faust. 19,2. The capitulum refuted by Augustine in c. Faust. 19 gives a third possible answer to the question of how to deal with Mt. 5:17, in which Jesus says that he came not to destroy but to fulfill the law and the prophets. In c. Faust. 17 and 18 Faustus concluded that the text should be regarded as spurious. For the sake of argument, Faustus takes the text as genuine in c. Faust. 67 Faustus offers the following solution: There are, however, three kinds of laws: one of them is that of the Hebrews, which Paul calls the law of sin and death.

The question of what may or may not be “Christian” comes to more or less the same thing. If we are to avoid theologically normative assessments of what counts as Christian, we must accept a community’s self-definition on whether or not they belong to a particular religious tradition. 26 A Christian impetus can be found in Mani’s religion from its inception. But it is a Christian impetus received by Mani in a distinctive, Asiatic context—and that made all the difference. Just as Augustine found concordance between Christ and Plato, so Mani found key alignments between Christ and Zoroaster and the Buddha, among other spiritual forebears.

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