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The Young Augustine's Knowledge of Manichaeism: An Analysis of the Confessiones and Some Other Relevant Texts

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image of Vigiliae Christianae

Mainly on the basis of an analysis of the relevant passages in the Confessiones, this article argues: 1. that already the young Augustine, during his years as a Manichaean Hearer, acquired a thorough knowledge of Manichaeism; 2. that he obtained this thorough knowledge by his own reading and studying of Mani's and other Manichaean works. Moreover, it is argued that, in all likelihood, Augustine's Confessiones testify to the existence in the Latin West of Mani's so-called Image, the painted picture book illustrating his Gnostic doctrine.

Affiliations: 1: Faculty of Theology & Faculty of Religious Studies, University of Nijmegen / Faculty of Theology, University of Pretoria;, Email:


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