Tag Archives: Manichaeism

Iranian, Manichaean and Central Asian Studies in Memoriam Sundermann

Herausgegeben von einem Team „Turfanforschung“. 2017. Zur lichten Heimat. Studien zu Manichäismus, Iranistik und Zentralasienkunde im Gedenken an Werner Sundermann (Iranica 25). Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag.

Werner Sundermann’s central research subject was the Middle Iranian fragments from Turfan oasis in East Turkistan, today’s Uygur Autonomous Region of Xinjiang, China. He always placed his texts in a philological, linguistic, or religious-historical context. The findings of these studies have extended far beyond Iranian studies to include the history of Central Asia, Iranian and Indo-European studies and literary history as well as to Turkology and Buddhist studies.
The memorandum contains more than fifty contributions on Minichaean, Iranian and Central Asian Studies, as well as other neighboring fields. Among others, some new text fragments from the Turfan region, Dunhuang and Iran are for the first time edited and presented. Furthermore new studies on the sources of Central Asian origin and the Greek-Roman and Persian cultural areas are introduced and individual phenomena of languages or religions are analyzed.

Continue reading Iranian, Manichaean and Central Asian Studies in Memoriam Sundermann

Āzandnāmē: A Manichaean-Sogdian Parable-Book

Benkato, Adam. Āzandnāmē. An Edition and Literary-Critical Study of the Manichaean-Sogdian Parable-Book. Beiträge Zur Iranistik 42. Wiesbaden: Reichert Verlag, 2017.

The Manichaean communities in Turfan (in modern-day Xinjiang, China) produced numerous texts in many languages, including Sogdian, an eastern Middle Iranian language. The present work is an edition and literary-critical study of the longest continuous Manichaean text in Sogdian, known as the Āzandnāmē, or Parable-Book. The Parable-Book preserves parts of three parables which illuminate various aspects of Manichaean teaching by means of a narrative followed by an explanation. A new and expanded edition of the Sogdian text, with English translation and philological commentary, forms the first part of this study.

Along with sermons, hymns, and confessionals, parables were one of the major genres of non-canonical texts produced by Manichaeans in Central Asian communities, surviving in Middle Persian, Parthian, and Old Turkic, as well as Sogdian. In the second part of this study, a new approach to the study of Manichaean parables is presented, taking into account their intertextuality as part of a genre that can only exist in interdependence on all other genres of Manichaean literature. This approach allows new light to be shed on the text of the Āzandnāmē while also investigating how and for which purposes the parables were produced and used.

This work is intended for specialists of Manichaeism and/or Sogdian philology, as well as those with interests in Iranian philology or religions in Central Asia more generally.

Follow the links for the Table of Contents and the Introduction to the volume.

Adam Benkato, Ph.D. (2015) is an scholar of Middle Iranian and specificly Manichaean and Sogdian Studies. From 2015-16 he was a Researcher at the Turfan Studies Project, Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences, and is presently a Humboldt Research Fellow at the Freie Universität Berlin.

Mani in Cambridge

Mani in Cambridge: A Day-Symposium on Manichaean Studies | Ancient India & Iran Trust

On Saturday 25 March, as part of an ongoing research project, we are holding a one day Symposium on Manichaean Studies sponsored jointly by the Ancient India and Iran Trust, the International Association of Manichaean Studies and the Corpus Fontium Manichaeorum Project.

Source: Mani in Cambridge: A Day-Symposium on Manichaean Studies | Ancient India & Iran Trust

Manichaeism East and West

Lieu, Samuel, Nils Arne Pedersen, Enrico Morano & Erica Hunter (eds.). 2017. Manichaeism East and West (Corpus Fontium Manichaeorum – Analecta Manichaica 1). Brepols Publishers.

The volume contains the proceedings of the eigth international symposium of the International Assocation of Manichaean Studies covering all major aspects of Manichaean studies.
This new volume brings the research on many aspects of the texts published in the Corpus up to date and signals new texts to appear in the Corpus. It includes important studies on the scientific dating of the Medinet Madi, codices as well as the newly discovered Manichaean texts in Chinese and Parthian from Xiapu in South China.

Source: Manichaeism East and West

Iranian Linguistic Studies in memoriam Xavier Tremblay

Acta Iranica 57Pirart, Eric (ed.). 2016. Études de linguistique iranienne: in memoriam Xavier Tremblay. (Acta Iranica 57). Leuven: Peeters.
The 57th volume of the Acta Iranica is dedicated to the memory of late Xavier Tremblay (* 26. 6. 1971, Lille—15. 11. 2011), in order to celebrate his contribution to Iranian and Indo-European Studies. Even unfinished, the work of Xavier Tremblay plays a fundamental role to our understanding of the origins of the Zoroastrian liturgy.
Table of Contents (PDF):
  • Philippe Swennen: “Xavier Tremblay et la liturgie longue proto indo-iranienne. Présentation
  • Alberto Cantera: On Avestan text criticism (2): the accusative singular of the ū̆- and ṷa- stems in the long liturgy
  • Juan Jose Ferrer Losilla: “Preconsonantal nasals in the Avestan alphabet”
  • Jost Gippert: “Albano-Jranica II: Avestan +āfše”
  • Jean Kellens: “Deux apologues sur le feu rituel
  • Jaime Martinez-Porro: “The orthography of the Avestan diphthongs aē and aō in the munuscripts of the long liturgy”
  • Antonio Panaino: “The World’s Conflagration and the Manichaean “Great Fire” of 1468 years”
  • Éric Pirart: Les cvi de l’Avesta”
  • Nicholas Sims-Wiliams: “Bactria—Balkh: variations on a place-name”

Cultural Transfer along the Silk Road

Espagne, Michel, Svetlana Gorshenina, Frantz Grenet, Sahin Mustafayev & Claude Rapin (eds.). 2016. Asie centrale: transferts culturels le long de la route de la soie. Paris: Vendémiaire.
This collection of essays is the result of the International Symposium “Cultural Transfers in Central Asia: before, during and after the Silk Road” (Conference Program), held in Samarkand on 12–14 September 2013. Expanding the original Eurocentric orientation in a broad chronological and interdisciplinary perspective and involving new materials, the participants have attempted to test the methodological approach of the “cultural transfers” and the effectiveness of their basic concepts (ways of travel, guides, translators, innovation, assimilation of “new” assignments, semantic shifts, etc.) in the Central Asian context. In these studies Central Asia includes mainly the post-Soviet space and its Central Asian neighbors like Siberia, Xinjiang, Afghanistan, Iran and Azerbaijan. The purpose of the collection is to determine the significance of the theory of the “cultural transfers” and, if possible, the range of its applications.

Ancient tales of giants

Goff, Matthew, Loren Stuckenbruck & Enrico Morano (eds.). 2016. Ancient tales of giants from Qumran and Turfan: Contexts, traditions, and influences (Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 360). Mohr Siebeck.

While there has been much scholarly attention devoted to the Enochic Book of the Watchers , much less has been paid to the Book of Giants from Qumran. This volume is the proceedings of a conference that convened in Munich, Germany, in June 2014, which was devoted to the giants of Enochic tradition and in particular the Qumran Book of Giants . It engages the topic of the giants in relation to various ancient contexts, including the Hebrew Bible, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and ancient Mesopotamia. The authors of this volume give particular attention to Manichaeism, especially the Manichaean Book of Giants , fragments of which were found in Turfan (western China). They contribute to our understanding of the range of stories Jews told in antiquity about the sons of the watchers who descended to earth and their vibrant Nachleben in Manichaeism.

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Mani’s Book of Giants in Sogdian

Fig. 4: So20220/I/R/ and So20220/II/V/ [K20]. Depositum der Berlin-Brandenburgischen Akademie der Wissenschaften in der Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin-Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Orientabteilung. Photos: Fotostelle der Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin.
Detail of K20 © Berlin-Brandenburgischen
Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Berlin.

Morano, Enrico. 2016. Some New Sogdian Fragments Related to Mani’s Book of Giants and the Problem of the Influence of Jewish Enochic Literature. In Matthew Goff, Loren T. Stuckenbruck & Enrico Morano (eds.), Ancient Tales of Giants from Qumran and Turfan. Contexts, Traditions, and Influences [Antike Geschichten von Riesen aus Qumran und Turfan. Kontexte, Traditionen und Einflüsse], 187–198. (Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen Zum Neuen Testament 360). Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck.
Enochic influence on Manichaean tradition has long been recognized. Much has been written ever since, both on the Book of Giants and on Enochic literature, but many details still remain obscure, owing to the scantiness of the primary literature and to the poor state of the manuscripts. The present paper aims to give further evidence of the important role that Jewish tradition played in the development of Mani’s religion. In the first part, two still unpublished Sogdian texts from, or related to, Mani’s Book of Giants will be presented and edited for the first time. In the second section, a Sogdian text written on a fragmentary page of a bifolio and clearly linked to Jewish Enochic literature, is edited here for the first time. All these texts are part of the Berlin Turfan collection.
About the Author:
Enrico Morano is retired teacher of Classics in High Schools and the current President of the International Association of Manichaean Studies (IAMS), is a scholar of Ancient Iranian Religions, Manichaeanism and Middle Iranian languages.

SOAS: Jordan Lectures in Comparative Religion 2016

Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mani.jpg

The 2016 Jordan Lectures in Comparative Religion will be delivered by Iain Gardner, University of Sydney.  The lectures are:

  1. Mani’s Background and Early Life: Who was He and What did He Think He was Doing?
  2. Mani’s Career as the ‘Apostle of Jesus Christ’: His Missions and the Community he Founded
  3. Mani’s Death: Inter-Religious Conflict in Early Sasanian Iran and the Memory of the Apostle

For more information, see  Jordan Lectures in Comparative Religion: SOAS.

Mani’s Living Gospel and the Ewangelyōnīg Hymns

This doctoral thesis with the title “Mani’s Living Gospel and the Ewangelyōnīg Hymns: Edition, Reconstruction and Commentary with a Codicological and Textological Approach Based on Manichaean Turfan Fragments in the Berlin Collection” deals with the fragments of Mani’s Living Gospel and the Ewangelyōnīg hymns (The hymn of the Gospel) discovered in the Turfan Oasis in the early 20th century, preserved in the Berlin Turfan Collection. 25 fragments have been studied in this work. Some of these fragments have already been published by other scholars, but only the work presented here aims at finalizing the work begun by others, as I was able to identify new fragments and with their help, was able to complete the fragments available. The combination of the new fragment M5439 with the previously published M17, the former completing the latter, proved to be one of the most important examples for my research on the Middle Persian version of Mani’s Gospel. I was able to reconstruct and conclusively join two of the already published fragments of the Ewangelyōnīg hymns with the help of two new fragments. I have also attempted in the scope of this work, to present an identification of several other fragments that were probably part of Mani’s Gospel. To accomplish this, I have analyzed all the Gnostic-Christian and Iranian sources in depth, and contrasted them with the Manichaean documents, both Iranian and non-Iranian. Thus I was able to present new suggestions and was likewise able to prove or disprove prior assumptions made by others about Mani’s Gospel. To ensure a deeper understanding of the Gospel and the Ewangelyōnīg hymns, I have added a few explanatory chapters and paragraphs to this dissertation that mainly deal with the inner and outer structure of the Gospel and serve, as I hope, in establishing a comprehensive relation between the Gospel and the Ewangelyōnīg hymns. Further research on the Manichaean sources, e.g. the Greek version of the Gospel and the Coptic Synaxeis on the one hand, and the Greek anti-Manichaean sources and accounts by Muslim writers on the other hand, served to deepen our understanding of the content of the Gospel greatly. By incorporating a study of these sources into this dissertation, I was able to close some of those gaps that impeded our understanding of the Gospel. Some important questions pertaining to the alphabetic structure of the chapters of the Gospel and the abecedarian order of the Parthian (Ewangelyōnīg) hymns, I was able to answer in this work. For some hapax legomena I was able to present a reasonable etymology in this dissertation. This doctoral thesis was not only designed to enlarge our understanding of the Turfan texts by presenting the new texts and reconstructions, moreover the new proposed codicological and textological approaches applied to the texts may serve to facilitate or at least simplify further research in this field.
For more information read the author’s introduction to this volume.
A PDF of this Volume is free accesable for download here.
Table of Contents:

Chapter One. Introduction

  • Aim
  • Material and Content of the Living Gospel and Ewangelyōnīg
  • Hymns
  • Outline of the Study
  • History of Prior Research

Chapter Two. Mani and his Gospel

  • The Living Gospel and Manichaeism
  • Position of the Gospel among the Canonical Writings
  • Names and Epithets
  • Composition Date
  • Chapter Order of the Living Gospel

Chapter Three. Living Gospel and Doubtful Fragments

  • Mani and the New Testament
  • Sayings of Jesus in Tatian’s Διà τεσσάρων and the Nag Hammadi
  • Codices
  • Double-edged Sword: Similarities and Differences
  • Possible Quotations of the Living Gospel in other Sources: An
  • Overview
  • The Paraclete as a Main Point of Issue in the Living Gospel
  • Not Near but not Far: Jesus’ Sayings and Acts
  • Citations of the Living Gospel: Some Tentative Suggestions

Chapter Four. Manichaean Turfan Texts of the Living Gospel

  • Overview and General Concepts
  • Turfan Fragments of the Living Gospel: Critical Middle Persian
  • Text and its Alternating Sogdian Version
  • Text I: M 17
  • Text II: M 172/I/
  • Text III: M 644
  • Text IV: A Newly Recognized Small Fragment: M 5439 [= T II D67]
  • Text V: An as yet Unpublished Manuscript Page in Sogdian Script
  • Return to the Verso Side of M 644
  • Unified Middle Persian Text of the Living Gospel
  • Commentary
  • Content of the Living Gospel According to an Unpublished Parthian Manuscript page

Chapter Five. Living Gospel Based on the Non-Iranian Manichaean Codices: Structure and Content

  • Greek Version
  • First Fragment: CMC 65, 23-68, 5
  • Second Fragment: CMC 68, 5-69, 8
  • Third Fragment: CMC 69, 9-70, 10
  • A Textological Commentary
  • Coptic Synaxeis
  • Chapter Titles
  • Plain Text
  • First Discourse (logos)
  • Other Discourses

Chapter Six. The Gospel in the Non-Manichaean Heritage

  • Accounts of the Greek Anti-Manichaean Writings
  • Arabic and Classical New Persian Testimonia
  • Testimonies
  • Commentary

Chapter Seven. Ewangelyōnīg Hymns

  • General Observations
  • Abecedarian System in the Parthian Hymns
  • Texts
  • Text I
  • Text II
  • Text III
  • Text IV
Chapter Eight. Miscellaneous Scraps: Living Gospel and Ewangelyōnīg Hymns
  • Fragment I
  • Fragment II
  • Fragment III
  • Fragment IV
  • Fragment V
Chapter Nine. Content of the Living Gospel and the Ewangelyōnīg Hymns: An Overview
  • Living Gospel
  • Ewangelyōnīg Hymns
  • Living Gospel in Context of the ‘Hymns of the Gospel’
  • Chapter Ten. Glossary of Turfan Texts in this Work
  • Middle Persian and Parthian
  • Sogdian

Chapter Eleven. Conclusion

Mohammd Shokri-Foumeshi (PhD 2014) is a scholar of Manichaean as well as Middle Iranian studies and a lecturer at the The University of Religions and Denominations, Qom (Iran).