Original Research - Special Collection: UP Faculty of Theology Centenary Volume One

Reminiscenses of Manichaeism in Augustine’s City of God

Johannes van Oort
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 72, No 4 | a3277 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v72i4.3277 | © 2016 Johannes van Oort | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 02 December 2015 | Published: 21 November 2016

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Johannes van Oort, Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands; Department Church History and Church Polity, Faculty of Theology, University of Pretoria, South Africa, South Africa

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This article aims to analyse all the passages in Augustine’s City of God in which he either explicitly or implicitly makes mention of Manichaeism and its doctrines. It turns out that, even in his later years, Manichaean doctrines were at the forefront of Augustine’s mind, although essential elements of his own doctrines (for instance, evil being the privation of good) have a clearly anti-Manichaean background. A close reading of all those anti-Manichaean passages further discloses some fairly unique particulars, such as, for example, the Manichaeans’ use and interpretation of John 8:44 and 1 John 3:8.


Augustine; Manichaeism; City of God; Early Church; Patristics


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