Henry Chadwick

in The Church in Ancient Society

Published in print December 2001 | ISBN: 9780199246953
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600463 | DOI:

Series: Oxford History of the Christian Church


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Mani (216–76) gave fresh life to Gnostic dualism in the third century. Thinking about the problem of evil, he developed his own cosmology of conflict between the powers of light and darkness and divided his followers into a celibate Elect and a lower order of Hearers. The appeal of Manichean teachings for Church members lay in their asceticism, akin to an embryonic monasticism. Manichee doctrines attracted many well‐educated followers, but the Orthodox Church condemned them as a ‘diabolic parody of authentic faith’.

Keywords: gnosticism; Mani; Manicheanism

Chapter.  1112 words. 

Subjects: History of Christianity

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