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The Manichaean Body: In Discipline and Ritual Hardcover – March 2, 2000

ISBN-13: 978-0801862700 ISBN-10: 0801862701 Edition: 0th

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 376 pages
  • Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press (March 2, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801862701
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801862700
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,381,599 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

The work marks an entirely bold and novel approach to the study of Manichaeism.

(History of Religions)

[This book] is a well-crafted work whose theoretical and practical interests can affect not only the way that scholars look at Manichaeism but also the way that they do religious studies as a whole.... [A] fascinating and important work.

(Horace Jeffery Hodgegs Journal of the American Academy of Religion)

Clearly written, and featuring a useful bibliography along with a central section of black-and-white plates. A solid work of scholarship which will be essential to further study in the areas he has marked out and which ought to interest scholars in many other fields of religious studies.

(Wendy Love Anderson Journal of Religion)

BeDuhn has done a great service here by reinterpreting the primary source material with a view to establishing the actual day-to-day religious practices of the Manichaeans... A most valuable work, sure to be consulted by specialists and students alike.

(Choice)

Scintillating work... BeDuhn's interpretation of much of the evidence is penetrating and evocative.

(Samuel N. C. Lieu Catholic Historical Review)

A significant study on the rationale of Manichaeism.

(Desmond Durkin-Meisterernst Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society)

About the Author

Jason David BeDuhn is an associate professor of religion at Northern Arizona University. He is the author of articles on Manichaeism and early Christianity, and he has coedited, with Paul Mirecki, two volumes of Manichaean studies: Emerging from Darkness: Studies in the Recovery of Manichaean Sources and The Light and the Darkness: Studies in Manichaeism and Its World.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Paul Stevenson VINE VOICE on July 4, 2009
Format: Paperback
Manichaeism is one of the vast range of religions associated with the Judeo-Christian group of traditions. It was founded in the 3rd century CE by a native of southern Mesopotamia named Mani, who identified himself as an apostle of Jesus Christ. Manichaeism was a vigorously missionary religion; it soon spread to the Roman Empire in the west and to China in the East. Some facts about Manichaeism were known before the 20th century, but they were almost all from polemic sources written to combat the religion as a "heresy." The 20th century, though, saw the discovery of a considerable number of documents written by Manichaeans themselves.

Jason BeDuhn has brought together a great quantity of information from the full range of these sources "to 'save' the Manichaeans for history by recovering how they proposed to save themselves" (from the Preface, p. x). BeDuhn carefully analyzes a variety of Manichaean beliefs and practices, pointing out their interdependence. He divides his study of each practice according to whether the documentation is from an eastern, central or western source. This is a helpful approach since the Manichaeans consciously adapted themselves to whatever cultural environment they found themselves in, and they spread over a very wide area indeed.

This review is not the place to summarize the entire content of the book, so I will state what I consider to be one of its most essential insights: the nature of the ritual meal of the elect.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Salaz Trading on March 14, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book opened my eyes to the whole religion of Manichaeism, which I had been previously unaware. For the layperson, its excellent to give one an overview of Manichaean traditions, east and west. It goes through the food ceremonies of both but provides the reader with insight through many translated Manichaean texts. It also contrasts and compares with modern traditions that are most likely similar in food ceremonial character with the ancient Manichaeans.

Also, the book is good for the scholar of Manichaeism or ancient Mediterranean religions, to give deep insight into the ritualism of this major religion, active during the time of early Christianity. I think understanding this tradition is important for students of Christianity as well, as I feel its aesceticism and ritualism as well as priesthood may have effected the Christians of the Roman Empire. Since Augustine was a Manichaean, its important in understanding the thinking of this Christian Father as well.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By C. Corcoran on April 29, 2000
Format: Hardcover
With the publication of this revised Indiana University doctoral dissertation, the academy has given history of religions hobbyists an exciting new model for responsible ritual studies. BeDuhn's work is carefully researched and tightly organized, reconstructing the Manichaean alimentary, disciplinary and ritual complex while articulating a notion of ritual as a coherent approach to reality. Such concerns are of more than academic interest, and the fascinated reader soon forgives the peculiarities of style and structure endemic to the dissertation mode. This book would be enjoyed by all who have followed the last decade's interest in the body and the relation of myth and ritual.
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0 of 10 people found the following review helpful By USA on June 3, 2013
Format: Paperback
I am SOOO glad I was able to get a copy of this from our local university's library. It is a PhD dissertation on a religion that no longer exists, based on data that doesn't exist, from which nondata the author draws some definitive conclusions that have no basis in fact. It is truly boring and in the end you are left knowing not much more than you started with. I had high hopes for this, but my hopes were dashed. I am so glad I did not buy it.
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