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Conclusions & Implications

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Chapter Summary

This study of five-part numeric patterns in the Manichaean Kephalaia has led to one primary conclusion, namely, that the text contains a considerable number of theological formulations that appear to be at variance with what is known, or is inferred, about canonical Manichaean traditions. Three factors appear to have been at work that led to this creative use of numeric patterning: 1) scholastic redaction, 2) response to adversity, and 3) missionary expansion. The fact that five played such a central role in the development of Manichaean discourse is rooted in the fact that Mani and Manichaeans seem to have believed as a general principle that most beings, both Light and Dark possess five qualities. The concept of the Five Limbs, means that some of the most fundamental concepts in Manichaean theology were canonically expressed as pentads.

Keywords:five-part numeric pattern; Kephalaia; Mani's canonical writing; Manichaean missionary; Manichaean theology; pentad; scholastic redaction



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