Week 5.2 - Manichaeanism

Week 5.2 - Manichaeanism - Week 5 (Continued):...

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Well, we ran out of time today, and I didn't get to tell you about the weirdness of Manichaeanism and the details of Platonism. Most of the essential points are in the former e-mail help, but here are a few details about each system. Manichaeanism: Mani was a 3 rd century Persian “prophet” with a gnostic Christian heresy. He was executed by the Persian King in 277AD. Gnosticism was a religious movement which believed that salvation is based on a secret knowledge known only by the elite and not by “everyone else.” Thus, a Gnosticism held the belief that salvation is restricted to a small group of enlightened “chosen ones.” There are many different kinds of Gnosticism—Jewish, Christian, Pagan. The Manichaeans believed that there are 2 divine powers; one that is good (light) and one that is evil (darkness). They imagined that while the two powers and their respective realms were originally separate, the powers of darkness invaded the realm of light and “kidnapped” some particles of light. They brought the particles of light back down to earth—the realm of darkness where they were trapped, especially in fruits and vegetables, but not in meat or flesh of any kind. The Manichaean elect believed that their mission was to ingest particles of light and return them to heaven when they can be saved. They alone the creation of the evil god of darkness and the prisons of the kidnapped light particles. Yes, they did believe that “God" consisted of particles of light—they were materialists ( see Confessions page 65 ). They believed that strict asceticism was the key to disempowering the forces of darkness and carnality—no sex allowed at all to the elect, and none of them ate meat. They preferred fruits with very
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This note was uploaded on 04/10/2008 for the course HIST 111 taught by Professor Rutenburg during the Fall '05 term at Maryland.

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Week 5.2 - Manichaeanism - Week 5 (Continued):...

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