History of the manichaean religion

Manichaean monasteries existed in Rome in during the time of Pope Miltiades. In this area countless demons are actively present; they fight and devour each other. Casey, Harvard Theological Review 21 97—]. The human being is seen as a battleground for these powers: When the Khirghiz came down from Siberia, and in destroyed the kingdom of the Uighurs, the Manichaean missionaries took advantage of the situation, pushed into Siberia, and established themselves in the valley of the Yenisei River.

The discovery of the Cologne Mani Codex shortly before produced a highly significant extract from the first and most important of Mani's writing, that is, his Living Gospel. While the religion of Manichaeism did not survive very long, historically speaking, its reputation has endured.

Many Manichaeans took part in rebellions against the Song government and were eventually quelled. This was a relatively short era, however, and, within a few centuries, Manichaeism was practically extinct.

In his struggle against the heresy, Ephrem himself composed popular polemic songs or hymns. Many of Mani's adherents became refugees with the onslaught of the vandals in the course of the fifth century ce.

Manichaeism spread out over most of the known world of the 1st millennium CE, from Spain to China.


Sources There are only few texts left after the Manichaeans, but Mani himself wrote many books. Driven by sexual lust, they united with each other and gave birth to the innumerable species of animals now known.

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.

In order to continue the liberation of the light, the Third Messenger called forth the Column of Glory who is also referred to as the New or Perfect Man; cf. Although Mani failed to make his revelation the official religion of Iran, he succeeded in what he really intended: On this mystical Cross of Light was suspended the Suffering Jesus Jesus patibilis who was the life and salvation of Man.

The figure of Jesus the Messiah was, in fact, well known in Manichaeism, but in comparison to the other apostles, he did not have any unique significance as in mainstream Christendom.

The Darkness defeated the Original Man, swallowing as much of the light from his shields as possible, and entrapped him within the World of Darkness. He viewed earlier revelations of the true religion as being limited in effectiveness because they were local, taught in one language to one people.

Edited by Hendrik Gerhard and Johannes van Oort. This was the first series of "evocations. Strangely, they were persecuted under the Ming and Qing, leading intermittent rebellions and absorbing more Manichaean doctrines such as the importance of "light" as a concept.

Two realms or kingdoms—that of light and that of darkness, good and evil, God and matter—oppose each other implacably.

Mani was claiming to be the reincarnation of the Buddha, Lord Krishna, Zoroaster and Jesus depending on the context in which he was carrying out his preachings. Great demons called archons in bar-Khonai's account are hung out over the heavens, and then the Father of Greatness begins the Third Creation.

Although there is no proof Shapur I was a Manichaean, he tolerated the spread of Manichaeism and refrained from persecuting it within his empire's boundaries.

When East Turkistan was conquered in the 8th century by the Uighur Turks, one of their leaders adopted Manichaeism and it remained the state religion of the Uighur kingdom until its overthrow in Augustine asserts that evil is passed through the line of Adam, that original sin has created wickedness present in all.

Sources Van Oort, Johannes.

Manichaeism Religion

From the semen that had fallen on the dry ground, five trees sprang up, and from them all other forms of plant life originated.

The firm interior organization of this church seems to date from Mani's times and, in essence, may even be a creation of the prophet himself.

Some Sogdians in Central Asia believed in the religion. We also have visual sources in iconography and paintings that survive, though they are also curiously small. Mani took specific issue with the Bible for suggesting that some truths in the universe might not be easily understood by human beings.


Mani's religion soon spread from Mesopotamia to the Atlantic in the west and finally as far as the Pacific in the east. This policy of persecution was also followed by his successors. The existence of a flourishing Manichaean community at Edessa in the 5th century bears witness to the persistence of this teaching.

After receiving several revelations from his heavenly Twin, Mani started his missionary journeys inside and outside the Persian Empire in ce, at first accompanied only by his father and two other members of the Judeo-Christian Elchasaite sect of his youth.

In Manichaeism creation is regarded as a cosmic catastrophe, this even applies to man. In these works, Mani described his unique and highly imaginative religious vision of the world as a battleground between forces of light and darkness.


Over time, the World of Darkness became aware of the existence of the World of Light. 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. Chinese Manichaeism is the form of Manichaeism (摩尼教 Móníjiào or 明教 Míngjiào, "bright religion") transmitted and practiced in China.

Chinese Manichaeism identifies as a teaching with the purpose of awakening (佛 fú), and it is a monotheism worshipping the universal God (Shangdi, Míngzūn 明尊 "Radiant Lord" or Zhēnshén. It is less an organized religion and more like a grouping of people loosely organized around certain ideals from Manichaean churches.

So, yeah, it would be very difficult to reconcile Buddhism and Manichaeism, but it was sort of. 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.

The Manichaeism Religion 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.

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.

History of the manichaean religion
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History - Manichaean Scriptures