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Theological Patterning I: Light-Realm

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Chapter Summary

The Five Limbs, applied to the Two Trees, represent those entities which in Theodore bar Khonai's account are known by the Syriac term shekinah. In Mazdaean theology, the god Ohrmizd was conceived as part of a divine tetrad along with time, space, and religion, although the incorporation of this tetrad into "orthodox" Mazdaeism may have been a response to Zurvanite speculations. As the essence of soul and the antithesis of matter, the Five Sons/Elements play a central role in the Manichaean conception of redemption. Mani re-enforces the macrocosmic/microcosmic parallelism at the core of his argumentation and re-assures the audience about the strong presence of the Light-Mind. One favourite activity of the Kephalaia compilers that speaks to their deliberate efforts at pentadic redaction is the grouping of beings from the light-realm into series known either as the "Five Fathers" or the "Five Greatnesses".

Keywords:cosmic parallelism; Father of Greatness; Kephalaia; light-realm; Manichaean; pentadic redaction; shekinah; Theodore bar Khonai; Zurvanite theology



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