Original Research - Special Collection: Augustinus Symposium

Augustine’s view of Manichaean almsgiving and almsgiving by the Manichaean community at Kellis

Majella Franzmann
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 69, No 1 | a1356 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i1.1356 | © 2013 Majella Franzmann | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 02 November 2012 | Published: 10 April 2013

About the author(s)

Majella Franzmann, Faculty of Humanities, Curtin University, Australia; Research Colleague, Department of Church History and Polity, University of Pretoria, South Africa


Taking its point of departure from Augustine’s criticism of Manichaean practices with food and drink that appear to disregard the New Testament injunction to give to the poor, or to those who are hungry and thirsty, this article investigates the probability that this was indeed Manichaean practice, by interrogating Manichaean texts and clues about Manichaean practice contained in the personal letters from 4th century CE Roman Kellis in Egypt. A further consideration of types of exclusive communities and their behaviour, or exclusive behaviour at various times from groups that are generally characterised as inclusive, leads to the proposal that Manichaean exclusivity was based firmly on an underlying theology and narrative myth of cosmic salvation that fixed an unalterable Manichaean community practice, carried out in a wide range of geographical locations and historical times.


Manichaeism; Exclusive communities; Food practices; Kellis; Dakhleh Oasis


Total abstract views: 3910
Total article views: 7881

Crossref Citations

No related citations found.