Manichaean Interpretation of Iranian Religious Traditions

Recorded: March 2, 2021
Event: Pourdavoud Center Workshop - Current Trends in Manichaeism Studies

by Jason BeDuhn (Northern Arizona University)

Jason BeDuhn, Professor of the Comparative Study of Religions and Asian Studies at Northern Arizona University
New sources such as the Chester Beatty Kephalaia Codex allow us to begin to break down the long-standing division between “Western” and “Eastern” Manichaeism in modern scholarship, and discover connections especially between Coptic and Middle Iranian Manichaean texts that shed light on the earliest centuries of the Manichaean religion. We are now in a better position to see how Mani and his early followers set out to acculturate their Christian movement to an Iranian context by identifying their teachings as the true interpretations of old Iranian religious traditions, contesting the authority of an emerging Zoroastrian leadership.