In the field of Manichaean studies an equally momentous discovery pro-vided a very important stimulus for new research: the discovery of theCologne Mani Codex in Egypt. This major find, first published in preliminary form in 1970,7revealed unequivocally that Mani was raised in a Jewish Christian Baptist community. Not Iranian dualism in some Zoroastrianform, but Jewish-Christian ideas defined nascent Manichaeism. This insightrevolutionized Manichaean studies. The new perspectives that emerged illustrated the accuracy of the church fathers’ judgment of Manichaeism, namely as—in essence—a Christian heretical movement. An overview of Greek-Christian anti-Manichaean writings provided the elementary evidence in case of the Greek speaking church fathers; for the Latin world there had been, for many centuries, the compelling testimony of Augustine who considered his former co-religionists members of a Christian secta. The fact is that, whether characterized as a secta or typified as a haeresis, Manichaeism for Augustine was always a form of Christianity.

 

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Augustine and Manichean Christianity - Johannes van Oort

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