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.
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.
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
- 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”
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.
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.
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.
The 2016 Jordan Lectures in Comparative Religion will be delivered by Iain Gardner, University of Sydney. The lectures are:
- Mani’s Background and Early Life: Who was He and What did He Think He was Doing?
- Mani’s Career as the ‘Apostle of Jesus Christ’: His Missions and the Community he Founded
- 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.
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.
Chapter One. Introduction
- Material and Content of the Living Gospel and Ewangelyōnīg
- 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
- Double-edged Sword: Similarities and Differences
- Possible Quotations of the Living Gospel in other Sources: An
- 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
- 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
Chapter Seven. Ewangelyōnīg Hymns
- General Observations
- Abecedarian System in the Parthian Hymns
- Text I
- Text II
- Text III
- Text IV
- Fragment I
- Fragment II
- Fragment III
- Fragment IV
- Fragment V
- 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
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).
Gulácsi, Zsuzsanna. 2015. Mani’s pictures: The didactic images of the Manichaeans from Sasanian Mesopotamia to Uygur Central Asia and Tang-Ming China (Nag Hammadi and Manichaean Studies 90). Brill.
The founder of Manichaeism, Mani (216-274/277 CE), not only wrote down his teachings to prevent their adulteration, but also created a set of paintings—the Book of Pictures—to be used in the context of oral instruction. That pictorial handscroll and its later editions became canonical art for Mani’s followers for a millennium afterwards. This richly illustrated study systematically explores the artistic culture of religious instruction of the Manichaeans based on textual and artistic evidence. It discusses the doctrinal themes (soteriology, prophetology, theology, and cosmology) depicted in Mani’s canonical pictures. Moreover, it identifies 10th-century fragments of canonical picture books, as well as select didactic images adapted to other, non-canonical art objects (murals, hanging scrolls, mortuary banners, and illuminated liturgical manuscripts) in Uygur Central Asia and Tang-Ming China.
- Part 1 – Textual Sources on Manichaean Didactic Art
- Introduction to Part 1
- Primary and Secondary Records in Coptic, Syriac, Greek, and Arabic Texts (3rd–10th Centuries)
- Primary Records in Parthian and Middle Persian Texts (3rd–9th Centuries)
- Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Records in Uygur and Chinese Texts (8th–13th Centuries)
- Tertiary Records in Post-Manichaean Arabic, Persian, and Chagatai Texts (11th–17th Centuries)
- Part 2 – Physical Remains of Manichaean Didactic Art
- Introduction to Part 2
- Format and Preservation
- Subject Repertoire and Iconography
Zsuzsanna Gulácsi, Ph.D. (1998, Indiana University) is a Professor of Asian Religious Art at Northern Arizona University and the author of Mediaeval Manichaean Book Art (Brill, 2005), Manichaean Art in Berlin Collections (Brepols 2001), and dozens of articles on Manichaean art.