Prolegomena to a History of Islamicate Manichaeism (Comparative Islamic Studies)

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9781904768524: Prolegomena to a History of Islamicate Manichaeism (Comparative Islamic Studies)

Prolegomena to a History of Islamicate Manichaeism provides an annotated anthology of primary sources highlighting Manichaeism, a dualist religion emerging in Mesopotamia in the third century and which spread rapidly throughout the Roman and Sasanian empires until it was violently suppressed by both polities. It nevertheless continued to flourish largely clandestinely in the Near East, Central Asia, and China until it finally disappeared at the beginning of the seventeenth century. This book translates and assesses the importance of a number of Arabic, Persian, Syriac, and even Hebrew language testimonies for a better understanding of the cultural importance of what many scholars characterize as the first world religion.

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About the Author:

John C. Reeves is Blumenthal Professor of Judaic Studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and specializes in the study of the history of religions of the Near East in late antiquity and the medieval era. He is the author of Jewish Lore in Manichaean Cosmogony (HUC Press, 1992), Heralds of That Good Realm (Brill, 1996), and Trajectories in Near Eastern Apocalyptic (Society of Biblical Literature, forthcoming 2004); editor of Tracing the Threads (Scholars Press, 1994) and Bible and Qur'?n (Society of Biblical Literature, 2003); and has published numerous articles exploring aspects of the literary and historical relationships among the varieties of indigenous, Jewish, Christian, Zoroastrian, Gnostic and Muslim communities evidenced by written and material sources.

Review:

"Reeves is a superb scholar who has meticulously researched the literature relevant to this project. His extensive learning is manifest throughout. Nothing like this anthology exists in English for the Islamicate testimonia on Manichaeism, and therefore it fills an extremely important gap." - Michael A. Williams, Professor of Comparative Religion and Near Eastern Languages and Civilization, Jackson School of International Studies, University of Washington

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