Article

Manichaeism and Gnosticism in the Papyri

Cornelia Römer

in The Oxford Handbook of Papyrology

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199843695
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199843695.013.0026

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Classics and Ancient History

 Manichaeism and Gnosticism in the Papyri

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  • Classical Studies
  • Religion in the Ancient World
  • Classical Philosophy
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The church fathers were appalled in particular by the Gnostics' condemnation of creation. But the fact that much of their teaching was in many respects not so far from Christian dogma must have disturbed the advocates of the “real” Christian church. In some of these Gnostic systems, Christ was the main savior figure; in others, it was the forefathers of the Old Testament who guaranteed salvation; in Manichaeism, it was the new Messenger of Light, the apostle Mani, who, coming after Christ, would finally give the right revelation to the people and excel Christ in doing so. This article deals with religious groups such as these as they existed in Egypt in the Roman and late antique periods. Papyrology has played a decisive role in our understanding of the religious movements of the first centuries ce in Egypt and elsewhere in the Mediterranean.

Keywords: Gnostic systems; Christ; papyrology; creation; Mani; church fathers; Old Testament

Article.  8324 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Religion in the Ancient World ; Classical Philosophy ; Greek and Roman Papyrology

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