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Globus Horribilis: The Role Of The Bolos In Manichaean Eschatology And Its Polemical Transformation In Augustine's Anti-Manichaean Writings

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Chapter Summary

One of the basic features of Manichaean eschatology was a belief that all evil would eventually be imprisoned within a globular mass and that the souls of those who had refused to accept the Religion of Light would be affixed to this globular mass forever. This chapter examines the Augustines reception and polemical transformation of this Manichaean doctrine. It discusses the doctrine that is reconstructed from the extant sources and also its functions and significance. It will be seen that there are certain ambiguities and tensions in the doctrine. Ones salvation depended upon acceptance of Manis teachings, entry into the Manichaean community and active support of that communitys ascetic practices. The doctrines of the original war and the globular mass, Augustine argues, create a dilemma for the Manichaeans. Augustine is able touse the doctrine of the globular mass to show that there is a fundamental tension in the Manichaean account.

Keywords: Augustine; globular mass; Manichaean eschatology



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