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Narrative Options In Manichaean Eschatology

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on the textual level of Manichaean sources and searches for possible narratological "rules" that defined the narrative possibilities of Manichaean discourse. It restricts inquiry to a specific instance of Manichaean eschatology, the ending of the cosmic battle. The chapter draws attention to a neglected diversity of an important aspect of Manichaean eschatology, the fate of the evil principle. Mani, by giving to his teachings the garments of myth, produced a story which became the foundation of the Manichaean semantic universe. However, stories are prone to change. Their present form is always one choice in a narrative maze, a specific option for a certain plot from a multitude of possibilities. The narratological instruments presented in the chapter plays a useful role in strengthening the dim and distorted voices of dissent.

Keywords: cosmic battle; evil principle; Manichaean eschatology; narrative maze



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