Baptism (Maṣbuta)

Jorunn Jacobsen Buckley

in The Mandaeans

Published in print November 2002 | ISBN: 9780195153859
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199834051 | DOI:

Series: An American Academy of Religion Book

 Baptism (Maṣbuta)

Show Summary Details


The Mandaean ritual of Mašbuta or baptism is described. This is a process of immersion in running water (which is the form that the Lightworld takes on earth), and is not an initiatory baptism, but rather repeated immersions that mark preparations and rehearsals for entry into the Lightworld – an entry that only happens properly at the death of the body. After an outline of the proceedings at a Mašbuta, specific interpretations and interpretative problems associated with it are addressed. It is argued that the Mašbuta is best understood within the greater horizon of Mandaean cosmology, as one of the means of constantly recreating the laufa (the connection between earth and the Lightworld).

Keywords: baptism; laufa; Lightworld; Mandaeans; Mandaeism; Mašbuta; repeated rituals; rituals

Chapter.  4265 words. 

Subjects: History of Religion

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.