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Augustine, Paul and the Manichees

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Chapter Summary

The author's research on the communicative purpose and audience of the confessions originated in a belief that a greater focus on literary practices and religious realities of the fourth century AD may bring us closer to reading Augustine's great work on its own terms. This chapter show that the last section of Augustine's allegorical exposition of Genesis in book 13 of the confessions is, contrary to general scholarly opinion, heavily underpinned by a concern with the potential Manichaean reader. The passage has a polemical and emotional tone that only falls into place when it is read as a counterfoil to Manichaean claims that the existence of the orders of the Elect and the Auditors and their respective tasks within Manichaean liturgy are justified by Paul's views. The content of the Tebessa Codex seems to corroborate this interpretation of the passage.

Keywords: Augustine; confessions; Genesis; Manichaean liturgy; Paul; Tebessa Codex



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