History of the manichaean religion

Manichaeism and Its Spread into China. Papyri 3 Manchester no.


According to biographies preserved by Ibn al-Nadim and the Persian polymath al-Birunihe received a revelation as a youth from a spirit, whom he would later call his Twin Aramaic: Mani sought to found a truly ecumenical and universal religion that would integrate into itself all the partial truths of previous revelations, especially those of Zoroaster, Buddha, and Jesus.

The origin of the material world, of evil, of sin, is found in this duality of the two uncreated principles, the central point in Manichaeism's doctrine.

This circumstance marks the first expansion of Manichaeism in the West, and perhaps also the definitive synthesis of the Manichaean gnosis through the addition of the Christian element, after the missionary travels in Babylon and India.

Knowledge… Mani was born in southern Babylonia now in Iraq. The Manichaeans came from Mesopotamia by sea, disembarked on History of the manichaean religion shores of the Red Seaand followed the route of merchants engaged in transporting goods from Asia.

Nestorianism also returned to China; many of the Mongol administrators and military commanders were Turkic-speaking Nestorians. They were quelled by Song China and were suppressed and persecuted by all successive governments before the Mongol Yuan dynasty.

But the heresy had a stubborn life and flourished in the Second Bulgarian Empire during the 13th century. InDiocletian decreed against the Manichaeans: At some point, Middle Persian-speaking Manichaeans also migrated into Central Asiaand the city of Merv probably became a merging point for both the Parthian-speaking and Middle Persian-speaking branches of the sect.

Its original Aramaic texts already contained stories of Jesus. A Latin translation of the original text circulated in Rome and Africa c. Inthe religion was banned through an edict of the Ming dynastywhose Hongwu Emperor had a personal dislike for the religion.

Manichaeism - One of the Most Popular Religions of the Ancient World

How Manichaeism might have influenced Christianity continues to be debated. Besides brief references by non-Manichaean authors through the centuries, no original sources of The Book of Giants which is actually part six of the Book of Enoch were available until the 20th century. Noting Mani's travels to the Kushan Empire several religious paintings in Bamyan are attributed to him at the beginning of his proselytizing career, Richard Foltz postulates Buddhist influences in Manichaeism: The remnants of the Uighur Turks were resettled in the region round Chotcho.

However, these groups left few records, and the link between them and Manichaeans is tenuous. This contention plays out over the world as well as the human body—neither the Earth nor the flesh were seen as intrinsically evil, but rather possessed portions of both light and dark.

The third Abbasid caliph, al-Mahdipersecuted the Manichaeans, establishing an inquisition against dualists who if being found guilty of heresy refused to renounce their beliefs, were executed. Recent archaeological discoveries suggest that Manichaeism was already established in the Turfan area prior to the conversion of the Uighur Khaghan in ce.

The laymen attended weekly fasts, but little is known of both their and the electeds' religious services.


He himself or one of his disciples sojourned in Christian communities of Malabar c. Lopez Martinez and V.


The others were written in Aramaic, the common language of the ancient Near East at the time. Manichaean churches and scriptures existed as far east as China and as far west as the Roman Empire. Question: "What is Manichaeism?" Answer: Manichaeism (also known as Manichaeanism and Manicheanism) is an ancient religion that arose several centuries after Christ.

The faith was a purposeful blend of Zoroastrianism and Christianity, borrowing concepts and terminology from both.


Although Manichaeism was long considered a Christian heresy, it was a religion in its own right that, because of the coherence of its doctrines and the rigidness of its structure and institutions, preserved throughout its history a unity and unique character.

Manichæism is a religion founded by the Persian Mani in the latter half of the third century. It purported to be the true synthesis of all the religious systems then known, and actually consisted of Zoroastrian Dualism, Babylonian folklore, Buddhist ethics, and some small and superficial, additions of Christian elements.

As a revealed religion and a dualistic system in its explanation of the beginning of the universe, Manichaeism proposes a tripartite conception of the world's history.

Thus, totalitarian gnosis embraces all human knowledge — theology, theogony, cosmology, astronomy, geology, botany, anthropology, history, soteriology, and eschatology.

The goal of Ancient Origins is to highlight recent archaeological discoveries, peer-reviewed academic research and evidence, as well as offering alternative viewpoints and explanations of science, archaeology, mythology, religion and history around the globe.

Manichaeism was quickly successful and spread far through the Aramaic-speaking regions. It thrived between the third and seventh centuries, and at its height was one of the most widespread religions in the world. Manichaean churches and scriptures existed as far east as China and as far west as the Roman Empire.

History of the manichaean religion
Rated 3/5 based on 24 review