SOAS University of London

Department of Religions & Philosophies, School of History, Religions & Philosophies

Jordan Lectures 2016 – Mani’s Background and Early Life: Who was He and What did He Think He was Doing?

Iain Gardner (University of Sydney)

Date: 1 June 2016Time: 5:00 PM

Finishes: 1 June 2016Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: G 51a

Type of Event: Annual Lecture

Seminar 1

The Christian tradition has regarded Mani as the arch-heretic and seducer of the faithful. His memory has been profoundly shaped by a fascinating counter-biography known as The Acts of Archelaus; this circulated from circa. 340 C.E. and dominated western knowledge until the reading of new sources from the Islamicate world in the nineteenth-century and then the recovery of texts written by the Manichaean community in the twentieth-century. The most remarkable of these has been the miniature Mani-Codex written in Greek that preserves an entirely different narrative of Mani’s youth and upbringing in a sectarian Jewish-Christian community of southern Mesopotamia. In this seminar I will discuss and compare these varied pictures of Mani, including topics such as his origins, name and the religious experiences that he claimed.

Organiser: Dr Erica Hunter

Contact email: