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Tag Archives: Manichaeism

Manichaeism

Manichaeism (/ˈmænɨkiːɪzəm/;[1] in Modern Persian آیین مانی Āyin e Māni; Chinese: 摩尼教; pinyin: Móní Jiào) was a major gnostic religion, originating in Sassanid-era Babylonia. Although most of the original writings of the founding prophet Mani(in Persian: مانی, Syriac: ܡܐܢܝ, Latin: Manichaeus or Manes) (c. 216–276 AD) have been lost, numerous translations and fragmentary texts have survived. Manichaeism taught an elaborate dualistic cosmology describing the struggle between a good, spiritual world of light, and an evil, material world of darkness. Through an ongoing process which takes place in human history, light is gradually removed from the world of matter and returned to the world of light from which it came. Its beliefs were based on local Mesopotamian gnostic and religious movements.[2] Manichaeism was quickly successful and spread far through the Aramaic-Syriac speaking regions.[3] 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.[4] It was briefly the main rival to Christianity in the competition to replace classical paganism. …

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