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Re: [Gnosticism2] Re: Mani & The Manicheans this Sunday on Coffee, Cigs & Gnosis!!!

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  • Miguel Conner
    Really? I would say that 70% of the promo was taken directly from the interview. He did say that new evidence in Egypt is changing many scholar s views on
    Message 1 of 21 , Oct 27, 2006
      Really?  I would say that 70% of the promo was taken directly from the interview.  He did say that new evidence in Egypt is changing many scholar's views on Manichaeism.

      Hope you catch it.  BeDuhn was a great interviewee.

      Miguel

      pmcvflag <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
      Because Dr BeDuhn was actually one of my big teachers on the
      historical front I am actually interested to hear this interview...
      and also what impression he makes on others here. Any report
      volunteers? Much of what he teaches directly is actually in
      opposition to the stance presented in the brief outline of this
      interview. Very curious!

      PMCV

      --- In gnosticism2@ yahoogroups. com, "miguelconner"
      <miguelconner@ ...> wrote:
      >
      > It's M-M-M-Mani and the Manicheans (played to Elton John's `Benny &
      > The Jets')
      >
      > Manichaeism was the only global Gnostic religion ever, extending
      from
      > the Atlantic Ocean to central and southern Asia. Persian,
      Mongolian
      > and Chinese kings even made it a state religion (one claimed Mani
      was
      > the avatar of Lao-Tze). It lasted for a thousand years and
      survived
      > until the 15th century, yet it is perhaps the least known variety
      of
      > Gnosticism today. Manichaeism was also the biggest threat to the
      > Catholic Church in its early history, as well as a competitor to
      > several Eastern faiths in Asia. But the guys with swords tend to
      > always win over the pacifists. We revisit the origins, history,
      and
      > theology of this most unusual catholic Gnosticism.
      >
      > Jason BeDuhn, author of `The Manichaean Body: In Discipline and
      > Ritual' & Associate Professor of Religious Studies
      > Department of Humanities, Arts, and Religion
      > Northern Arizona University joins `Coffee, Cigarettes & Gnosis'
      this
      > Sunday, October 29, at 3 PM PST/5 PM CST/6 PM EST at
      > Freethoughtmedia. com. Just click the `ON AIR' button under the
      banner.
      >
      > Topics Discussed:
      >
      > --The extraordinary life of the Prophet Mani, including his passion
      > and execution because of an orthodox priesthood (does the story
      ever
      > change?)
      > --The cosmology, tenets and rituals of Manichaeism, as well as how
      it
      > was able to compete with so many different religions across the
      world.
      > --How the Roman Catholic Church not only exterminated Manichaeism
      but
      > also co-opted several of its traditions (confession, priesthood
      > celibacy, and more).
      > --Saint Augustine, the ex-Manichean, and his ability to interbreed
      > Christian and Manichean theology that changed the Church forever.
      > --Evidence that it was perhaps the Manicheans who absorbed the
      classic
      > Gnostics and not the persecution of the early Church.
      > --The reasons why there is so little known of Mani and his
      religion in
      > these modern times.
      > --Dispelling the fable that Manicheans (like all other Gnostics)
      were
      > world-haters by glancing at their sublime scriptures and wisdom.
      > --Evidence for and against the Manicheans influencing the Bogomils
      and
      > Cathars of the later Middle Ages.
      >
      > And much more.
      >
      > Next week we deal with the divine feminine in Judaism and one of
      the
      > most important Kabbalist tomes—The Zohar. Our guest is Daniel C.
      > Matt, best selling author of `God and The Big Bang', `The Essential
      > Kabbalah: The Heart of Jewish Mysticism' & `The Zohar: annotated &
      > explained'.
      >
      > This week's rebroadcast of `Coffee, Cigarettes & Gnosis' is show
      > #12—`The Matrix Revolution'. We deal with Gnostic-themed movies
      such
      > as `Fight Club', `The Truman Show' and others, as well as some
      modern
      > Gnostic writers like Carlos Castaneda and Philip K Dick. Show
      starts
      > at 3 PM Eastern on Sunday.
      >
      > Abraxas
      >




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    • pmcvflag
      Hey Miguel ... from the interview. He did say that new evidence in Egypt is changing many scholar s views on Manichaeism. Hope you catch it. BeDuhn was a
      Message 2 of 21 , Oct 28, 2006
        Hey Miguel

        >>>Really? I would say that 70% of the promo was taken directly
        from the interview. He did say that new evidence in Egypt is
        changing many scholar's views on Manichaeism.

        Hope you catch it. BeDuhn was a great interviewee.<<<

        I hope to catch it as well. It should be very interesting.

        As for the new evidence, I am guessing you mean the Kellis (aka
        Ismant el-Kharab) finds?

        Anyway, I wonder if perhaps Dr BeDuhn softened his explinations for
        the sake of accessibility. I understand there is a limit to what one
        can talk about in the short span of a radio show. Or heck, maybe he
        has changed his mind about some things. I will be curious to find
        out. Let me try to explain further what I meant when I stated that
        it seemed to me that much of the intro you presented didn't seem to
        reflect what he teaches in his class. Perhaps this could spark some
        conversation that would convince others to listen to the program as
        well, and read the book.

        >>>--The extraordinary life of the Prophet Mani, including his
        passion and execution because of an orthodox priesthood (does the
        story ever change?)<<<

        In his class Dr BeDuhn raised serious questions about the actuality
        of the execution account, favoring instead the account that has him
        passing away in prison.

        >>>--Dispelling the fable that Manicheans (like all other Gnostics)
        were world-haters by glancing at their sublime scriptures and
        wisdom.<<<

        I once considered Manichaeans to be a form of "Gnosticism". It is Dr
        BeDuhn that convinced me otherwise. Actually, I was resistant to the
        recategorization, but I found Dr BeDuhn's arguments compelling...
        and in fact more recent scholars like Dr King seem to have similar
        views on the matter. I does point out some of the problems with the
        categorization in a vague way in the Manichaean Body, but in his
        class he was much more explicit.

        Well, those are just a couple of specific points. Of course, one
        does expect a greater level of caution to be presented in a
        university history class (and his class on Manichaeism was a higher
        level course) than in casual conversation, so I inderstand that part
        of what I may be pointing out could relate to that caution and a
        matter of technicalities that may seem less important in the
        interview setting. Questions like whether it is accurate to state
        that the Catholics "extermintated" the Manichaeans when they
        actually continued in the east for some time may essentially be a
        non-issue when the basic effect still stands.

        You all know by now that I am anal about such things *lol*.

        PMCV
      • Scott Hutton
        Jumping in to this delightful discussion, I decided to go see the other guys are saying.So I hit the Catholic Encyclopedia, where it is said with a straight
        Message 3 of 21 , Oct 28, 2006

          Jumping in to this delightful discussion, I decided to go see the other guys are saying.

          So I hit the Catholic Encyclopedia, where it is said with a straight face that once Mani's cosmology is known, there is little else to learn and that the Manichaeans are Gnostics in that the believe in liberation through knowledge.

          I don't know about the Manicheans but that is exactly what your garden variety gnostic is NOT into.� That person is into knowing, which is an event far diffferent from knowledge.

          Jeesh.� Trust that bunch to trot out a mangled description of another spiritual current and expect no one to notice

          Scott Hutton.






          --- On Sat 10/28, pmcvflag < no_reply@yahoogroups.com > wrote:
          From: pmcvflag [mailto: no_reply@yahoogroups.com]
          To: gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com
          Date: Sat, 28 Oct 2006 17:29:18 -0000
          Subject: [Gnosticism2] Re: Mani & The Manicheans this Sunday on Coffee, Cigs & Gnosis!!!














          Hey Miguel

          >>>Really? I would say that 70% of the promo was taken directly
          from the interview. He did say that new evidence in Egypt is
          changing many scholar's views on Manichaeism.

          Hope you catch it. BeDuhn was a great interviewee. <<<

          I hope to catch it as well. It should be very interesting.

          As for the new evidence, I am guessing you mean the Kellis (aka
          Ismant el-Kharab) finds?

          Anyway, I wonder if perhaps Dr BeDuhn softened his explinations for
          the sake of accessibility. I understand there is a limit to what one
          can talk about in the short span of a radio show. Or heck, maybe he
          has changed his mind about some things. I will be curious to find
          out. Let me try to explain further what I meant when I stated that
          it seemed to me that much of the intro you presented didn't seem to
          reflect what he teaches in his class. Perhaps this could spark some
          conversation that would convince others to listen to the program as
          well, and read the book.

          >>>--The extraordinary life of the Prophet Mani, including his
          passion and execution because of an orthodox priesthood (does the
          story ever change?)<<<

          In his class Dr BeDuhn raised serious questions about the actuality
          of the execution account, favoring instead the account that has him
          passing away in prison.

          >>>--Dispelling the fable that Manicheans (like all other Gnostics)
          were world-haters by glancing at their sublime scriptures and
          wisdom.<<<

          I once considered Manichaeans to be a form of "Gnosticism" . It is Dr
          BeDuhn that convinced me otherwise. Actually, I was resistant to the
          recategorization, but I found Dr BeDuhn's arguments compelling.. .
          and in fact more recent scholars like Dr King seem to have similar
          views on the matter. I does point out some of the problems with the
          categorization in a vague way in the Manichaean Body, but in his
          class he was much more explicit.

          Well, those are just a couple of specific points. Of course, one
          does expect a greater level of caution to be presented in a
          university history class (and his class on Manichaeism was a higher
          level course) than in casual conversation, so I inderstand that part
          of what I may be pointing out could relate to that caution and a
          matter of technicalities that may seem less important in the
          interview setting. Questions like whether it is accurate to state
          that the Catholics "extermintated" the Manichaeans when they
          actually continued in the east for some time may essentially be a
          non-issue when the basic effect still stands.

          You all know by now that I am anal about such things *lol*.

          PMCV










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        • pmcvflag
          Hey Scott, welcome to the conversation. ... other guys are saying. So I hit the Catholic Encyclopedia, where it is said with a straight face that once Mani s
          Message 4 of 21 , Oct 28, 2006
            Hey Scott, welcome to the conversation.

            >>>Jumping in to this delightful discussion, I decided to go see the
            other guys are saying. So I hit the Catholic Encyclopedia, where it is
            said with a straight face that once Mani's cosmology is known, there
            is little else to learn and that the Manichaeans are Gnostics in that
            the believe in liberation through knowledge.<<<

            Part of what would be at issue here is whether or not it is
            essentially "Gnosis" or "Praxis" that Manichaeans viewed as the
            primary soteriological force. According to Dr BeDuhn's book it is
            correct action, not "gnosis", that was the primary means of
            salvation/liberation, and "gnosis" served to help one come to
            understand this correct action. The difference with the Gnostics (as
            they are categorically imagined), then, was that they believed that
            Gnosis in and of itself was salvation, and correct action would be a
            sort of side effect.

            >>>I don't know about the Manicheans but that is exactly what your
            garden variety gnostic is NOT into. That person is into knowing,
            which is an event far diffferent from knowledge.<<<

            When we talk about the Gnostics as they are more technically defined,
            namely the Sethian or Valentinian forms, we see a number of attributes
            within the concept of "Gnosis". Some Sethian texts, for instance, talk
            about an understanding of cosmology as a central element of Gnosis.
            The Gospel of Thomas talks about hermeneutics as a key function. We
            can talk about knowing and knowledge in arbitrary terms, of course,
            but in the end we always must keep in mind the concept of Gnosis as we
            see it in historical Gnostic groups. The problem that is often debated
            (and validly debatable) is just how the Manichaean concept of gnosis
            relates or fails to relate to the Sethian or Valentinian notion of the
            word.

            On another front, there is no question that Manichaeans use some
            similar lingo and cosmology with the definitive Gnostic groups. One
            aspect of that cosmology, though, seems nearly opposite. Gnostic texts
            generally see the universal flaw as being caused by division and
            seperation from the spiritual source. In other words, duality is a bad
            thing. Manichaeans, on the other hand, describe a setting in which the
            flaw in the universe was caused not because of duality, but because of
            a mixing of the dual forces that should naturally be kept apart. In
            Manichaean thinking the world is a sort of machine for sorting out the
            dual elements back into their rightful opposites (the world having a
            positive function). Gnostics, on the other hand, present the world as
            a flawed creation by an ignorant Demiurge.

            My point is that on the surface they two movements do have many
            striking similarities, but careful reading of the text also presents
            some differences that are so core that they raise the issue of the
            very categorical attributes that define "Gnosticism". Debating one
            side of that or the other is often a matter of how far one wishes to
            stretch that term.

            PMCV
          • Miguel Conner
            Hi, Actually, mixing the interview I just noticed that BeDuhn does mention that Mani died in prison before any torture. I got ahead of myself while doing
            Message 5 of 21 , Oct 28, 2006
              Hi,

              Actually, mixing the interview I just noticed that BeDuhn does mention that Mani died in prison before any torture.  I got ahead of myself while doing side-research.

              And you're right-- we couldn't go too in depth in 45 minutes.  How Gnostic or Gnostic-at-all really wasn't touched upon.  I've still got a lot to cover on the show before I get into the deeper layers of Gnosticism or what is Gnosticism proper.   I know that Karen King will more than likely appear in the Spring, after she has recovered from surgery, so I'll tackle the issue then.

              As far as any 'extermination', BeDuhn simply referred to it as 'The Catholic Church using the power of the State to compete with Manichaeism'.  Many ways one can read that but I think it points to the obvious.

              Miguel


              pmcvflag <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
              Hey Miguel

              >>>Really? I would say that 70% of the promo was taken directly
              from the interview. He did say that new evidence in Egypt is
              changing many scholar's views on Manichaeism.

              Hope you catch it. BeDuhn was a great interviewee. <<<

              I hope to catch it as well. It should be very interesting.

              As for the new evidence, I am guessing you mean the Kellis (aka
              Ismant el-Kharab) finds?

              Anyway, I wonder if perhaps Dr BeDuhn softened his explinations for
              the sake of accessibility. I understand there is a limit to what one
              can talk about in the short span of a radio show. Or heck, maybe he
              has changed his mind about some things. I will be curious to find
              out. Let me try to explain further what I meant when I stated that
              it seemed to me that much of the intro you presented didn't seem to
              reflect what he teaches in his class. Perhaps this could spark some
              conversation that would convince others to listen to the program as
              well, and read the book.

              >>>--The extraordinary life of the Prophet Mani, including his
              passion and execution because of an orthodox priesthood (does the
              story ever change?)<<<

              In his class Dr BeDuhn raised serious questions about the actuality
              of the execution account, favoring instead the account that has him
              passing away in prison.

              >>>--Dispelling the fable that Manicheans (like all other Gnostics)
              were world-haters by glancing at their sublime scriptures and
              wisdom.<<<

              I once considered Manichaeans to be a form of "Gnosticism" . It is Dr
              BeDuhn that convinced me otherwise. Actually, I was resistant to the
              recategorization, but I found Dr BeDuhn's arguments compelling.. .
              and in fact more recent scholars like Dr King seem to have similar
              views on the matter. I does point out some of the problems with the
              categorization in a vague way in the Manichaean Body, but in his
              class he was much more explicit.

              Well, those are just a couple of specific points. Of course, one
              does expect a greater level of caution to be presented in a
              university history class (and his class on Manichaeism was a higher
              level course) than in casual conversation, so I inderstand that part
              of what I may be pointing out could relate to that caution and a
              matter of technicalities that may seem less important in the
              interview setting. Questions like whether it is accurate to state
              that the Catholics "extermintated" the Manichaeans when they
              actually continued in the east for some time may essentially be a
              non-issue when the basic effect still stands.

              You all know by now that I am anal about such things *lol*.

              PMCV




              Visit http://thegodabovegod.com/ and become part of the new Renaissance of Gnosticism and Truthseeking.


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            • pmcvflag
              Hey Miguel ... still got a lot to cover on the show before I get into the deeper layers of Gnosticism or what is Gnosticism proper. I know that Karen King
              Message 6 of 21 , Oct 29, 2006
                Hey Miguel

                >>>How Gnostic or Gnostic-at-all really wasn't touched upon. I've
                still got a lot to cover on the show before I get into the deeper
                layers of Gnosticism or what is Gnosticism proper. I know that
                Karen King will more than likely appear in the Spring, after she has
                recovered from surgery, so I'll tackle the issue then.<<<

                That should be interesting as well. I have not had a chance to meet
                or speak with Dr King, but our friend here Thomas L. was in her
                class. She is one of the more hardline deconstructionists of the
                Gnosticism category, and I think some of her textual criticism is
                first rate.

                Also, our mod, Gerry, attended a seminar with Dr Ehrman some time
                ago and found it... er... interesting ;) Most of his previous
                material hadn't been so much about Gnosticism, per se, but more and
                more of it is. In one recent introduction to a book he mentions how
                he had previously been an evangelical, and his study of history
                totally turned his view on its head. Any thoughts of upcoming
                interviews with him?

                PMCV
              • Miguel Conner
                I talked briefly to Ehrman. He is going to be in Europe for the next two seasons, so I won t be able to get him on also in the spring. Happens to a scholar
                Message 7 of 21 , Oct 29, 2006
                  I talked briefly to Ehrman.  He is going to be in Europe for the next two seasons, so I won't be able to get him on also in the spring.  Happens to a scholar who scores a best seller.  They travel a lot!

                  Miguel


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                • pmcvflag
                  Miguel and all ... SO, I did catch it... did anyone else here do so? Anyone have thoughts or comments about the interview, or about the subject? Questions?
                  Message 8 of 21 , Oct 30, 2006
                    Miguel and all

                    >>>Hope you catch it. BeDuhn was a great interviewee.<<<

                    SO, I did catch it... did anyone else here do so? Anyone have
                    thoughts or comments about the interview, or about the subject?
                    Questions? Criticisms? Debate points?

                    I did notice a few things about the interview. I noticed how Dr
                    BeDuhn seemed to concede the term "Gnosticism" for the sake of the
                    interview, but vascilated between drawing the line and trying to make
                    a concerted effort to use the term in a more popular way.

                    I was also aware of his considerably more diplomatic presentation of
                    various authors' method of popularizing Gnosticism, and the resulting
                    information as it really relates to subject at hand. The point about
                    accentuating certain popular attributes is a nice way of questioning
                    the validity of those attributes and reliability of the picture those
                    authors are presenting. If one wished to state that more simply they
                    could say that many popular efforts are unfortunately based on gloss
                    and spin.... but I am a bit more blunt than most ;)

                    I was a little disappointed that Dr BeDuhn danced past the issue of
                    the funtion of gnosis in Manichaean thought vs the function in
                    Gnostic thinking, since it is so core to the issue of what the
                    category of "Gnostic" is meant to communicate. I do, however,
                    understand that simply going with the flow may have been easier
                    considering the shortness of the interview and perhaps the fact that
                    the audience was likely to be new to the subject. Of course, in this
                    forum we try to go a bit deeper into this kind of issue. Even in this
                    forum it has sometimes been difficult to convey for some people that
                    the Gnostic concept of "Gnosis" is different from the Catholic
                    concept of "gnosis", because when people see the word they tend to
                    automatically assume a whole host of connections.

                    I have often argued that the Manichaean concept of "gnosis", is far
                    closer to the orthodox Christian (especially Catholic) usage than to
                    the Gnostic one. However, I leave that open to discussion and debate.

                    PMCV
                  • lady_caritas
                    ... make ... I m not sure he actually conceded, PMCV, because he did point out differences and similarities between Manichaeans and earlier Gnostics, allowing
                    Message 9 of 21 , Oct 31, 2006
                      --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pmcvflag <no_reply@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Miguel and all
                      >
                      > >>>Hope you catch it. BeDuhn was a great interviewee.<<<
                      >
                      > SO, I did catch it... did anyone else here do so? Anyone have
                      > thoughts or comments about the interview, or about the subject?
                      > Questions? Criticisms? Debate points?
                      >
                      > I did notice a few things about the interview. I noticed how Dr
                      > BeDuhn seemed to concede the term "Gnosticism" for the sake of the
                      > interview, but vascilated between drawing the line and trying to
                      make
                      > a concerted effort to use the term in a more popular way.



                      I'm not sure he actually conceded, PMCV, because he did point out
                      differences and similarities between Manichaeans and earlier
                      Gnostics, allowing the listener to at least begin a process of
                      examining this subject of categorization. Possibly his primary focus
                      of the interview could have been to give general information about
                      Mani and the Manichaeans for an audience of varied backgrounds, as
                      you point out, and not get too specific in an academic way about
                      categorization. In fact I don't remember the actual
                      word "Gnosticism" being used all that much in the interview. Yet use
                      of terms like "gnostic movement" or "gnostics" or "antecedent
                      gnostic" would seem to show a predilection for a specific category
                      for comparison in his view.

                      And Dr. BeDuhn (pronounced, if I understand correctly: "beh-doon")
                      did say early on in the interview that how Manichaeism is related to
                      the broader Gnostic movement is debatable. Even though he didn't get
                      into depth about the actual function of gnosis, he did bring out the
                      importance of this type of knowledge for both Manichaeans and earlier
                      Gnostics, involving the true nature of god and soul. Even though we
                      see syncretism, a few differences he pointed out included how in
                      Manichaeism a good god created the world, which distinctly varied
                      from the antecedent Gnostic world-maligned creation, and also the
                      Manichaeans' belief that non-humans, i.e., plants and animals have
                      souls, which is broader than most gnostic systems. We also see a
                      pantheism in Manichaeism in that everything has god in it; everything
                      is a mixture of good and evil, and there is a real affirmation of the
                      natural world, quite different from other gnostic systems. PMCV, in
                      this regard you also pointed out in a previous post (#12810) an
                      important difference concerning cosmology:

                      "Gnostic texts generally see the universal flaw as being caused by
                      division and
                      seperation from the spiritual source. In other words, duality is a bad
                      thing. Manichaeans, on the other hand, describe a setting in which the
                      flaw in the universe was caused not because of duality, but because of
                      a mixing of the dual forces that should naturally be kept apart. In
                      Manichaean thinking the world is a sort of machine for sorting out the
                      dual elements back into their rightful opposites (the world having a
                      positive function). Gnostics, on the other hand, present the world as
                      a flawed creation by an ignorant Demiurge."

                      All this said, there is still the issue of the function of Gnosis in
                      the system, as you also mentioned. And one could examine whether
                      Gnosis or rather Praxis is emphasized as the main soteriological
                      force.



                      > I was also aware of his considerably more diplomatic presentation
                      of
                      > various authors' method of popularizing Gnosticism, and the
                      resulting
                      > information as it really relates to subject at hand. The point
                      about
                      > accentuating certain popular attributes is a nice way of
                      questioning
                      > the validity of those attributes and reliability of the picture
                      those
                      > authors are presenting. If one wished to state that more simply
                      they
                      > could say that many popular efforts are unfortunately based on
                      gloss
                      > and spin.... but I am a bit more blunt than most ;)
                      >
                      > I was a little disappointed that Dr BeDuhn danced past the issue of
                      > the funtion of gnosis in Manichaean thought vs the function in
                      > Gnostic thinking, since it is so core to the issue of what the
                      > category of "Gnostic" is meant to communicate. I do, however,
                      > understand that simply going with the flow may have been easier
                      > considering the shortness of the interview and perhaps the fact
                      that
                      > the audience was likely to be new to the subject. Of course, in
                      this
                      > forum we try to go a bit deeper into this kind of issue. Even in
                      this
                      > forum it has sometimes been difficult to convey for some people
                      that
                      > the Gnostic concept of "Gnosis" is different from the Catholic
                      > concept of "gnosis", because when people see the word they tend to
                      > automatically assume a whole host of connections.
                      >
                      > I have often argued that the Manichaean concept of "gnosis", is far
                      > closer to the orthodox Christian (especially Catholic) usage than
                      to
                      > the Gnostic one. However, I leave that open to discussion and
                      debate.
                      >
                      > PMCV
                      >


                      Would you care to share your views further on this subject, PMCV?

                      One also could posit whether orthodox Christianity most likely
                      derived its concept of gnosis at least in part from Manichaeism, due
                      to the influence of Augustine. Apparently, Dr. BeDuhn currently is
                      working on the figure of Augustine regarding his use of Manichaeism
                      in Catholic material. Should be interesting.

                      BTW, I know it's Halloween, but perhaps some more spirited members
                      lurking in the shadows might want to question or comment more on the
                      interview or Manichaeism in general?

                      It appeared to me that Dr. BeDuhn really enjoyed this subject. He
                      particularly seemed to light up when discussing the Manichaean
                      positive view of world beauty (countering a reputation as "world
                      haters") and part of their affirmation of beauty as manifested in the
                      high value that Manichaeans placed on human art.


                      Cari
                    • pmcvflag
                      Hey Lady Cari ... differences and similarities between Manichaeans and earlier Gnostics, allowing the listener to at least begin a process of examining this
                      Message 10 of 21 , Oct 31, 2006
                        Hey Lady Cari

                        >>>I'm not sure he actually conceded, PMCV, because he did point out
                        differences and similarities between Manichaeans and earlier
                        Gnostics, allowing the listener to at least begin a process of
                        examining this subject of categorization. Possibly his primary focus
                        of the interview could have been to give general information about
                        Mani and the Manichaeans for an audience of varied backgrounds, as
                        you point out, and not get too specific in an academic way about
                        categorization. In fact I don't remember the actual
                        word "Gnosticism" being used all that much in the interview. Yet use
                        of terms like "gnostic movement" or "gnostics" or "antecedent
                        gnostic" would seem to show a predilection for a specific category
                        for comparison in his view.<<<

                        Well, what I meant by "concede" is that he was willing to use terms
                        like "other gnostics" when it was clear, as you point out, that he
                        was often drawing a destinction. I noticed that in most instances
                        when he mentioned the Gnostics first he clearly did not define
                        Manichaeans as part of this movement. He even went so far as to
                        explain how Manichaeans probably conciously borrowed Gnostic lingo
                        at a later date in the same way they borrowed Buddhist lingo.
                        However, when mentioning the Manichaeans first he sometimes talked
                        about their relation to "other gnostics" with what sounded to me
                        like a hint of hesitation. Perhaps that stood out to me because I
                        got the unabridged version *lol*, but I can say that in his lectures
                        it was not a matter of "other Gnostics".

                        I do like the term "antecedent gnostics" because it can imply a
                        connection without having to imply a cohesion. It allows for the
                        possibility that Manichaeans are related to the Gnostics without
                        actually BEING Gnostic.

                        >>>And Dr. BeDuhn (pronounced, if I understand correctly: "beh-doon")
                        did say early on in the interview that how Manichaeism is related to
                        the broader Gnostic movement is debatable.<<<

                        True, he did. And yes... Miguel, just for the record you pronounced
                        his name wrong (I have to rib you on that one *lol*).

                        >>>Even though he didn't get into depth about the actual function of
                        gnosis, he did bring out the importance of this type of knowledge
                        for both Manichaeans and earlier Gnostics, involving the true nature
                        of god and soul.<<<

                        Which was interesting because even in his book he talks about how
                        the importance and function of this type of knowledge in the
                        Manichaean system is often based on a questionable reading of the
                        text (Body, pg 98, last section).

                        >>>All this said, there is still the issue of the function of Gnosis
                        in the system, as you also mentioned. And one could examine whether
                        Gnosis or rather Praxis is emphasized as the main soteriological
                        force.<<<

                        Yes, exactly. I know it is a big debate, but a very important one
                        when considering what it is that makes something "Gnostic".

                        >>>Would you care to share your views further on this subject, PMCV?
                        <<<

                        Well, yes I would *lol*. However, I would like to see others offer
                        some views first so that it is open to wider conversation.

                        >>>BTW, I know it's Halloween, but perhaps some more spirited members
                        lurking in the shadows might want to question or comment more on the
                        interview or Manichaeism in general?<<<

                        Oh yeah! I forgot it is Halloween. I guess I should get back to
                        errands before people start knocking on the door! I do hope others
                        chime in on this conversation though.

                        >>>It appeared to me that Dr. BeDuhn really enjoyed this subject. He
                        particularly seemed to light up when discussing the Manichaean
                        positive view of world beauty (countering a reputation as "world
                        haters") and part of their affirmation of beauty as manifested in the
                        high value that Manichaeans placed on human art.<<<

                        Indeed. In fact, I always had the impression the Gnosticism wasn't
                        quite so interesting to him. Manichaeans seem to be his passion, and
                        he proudly claims to be a "Mani maniac" *lol*.

                        PMCV
                      • Melissa McIntyre
                        Since I am a new member to the group, I don t know what interview or discussion you are pertaining too, but I would be interested in knowing more about it, so
                        Message 11 of 21 , Nov 1, 2006
                          Since I am a new member to the group, I don't know what interview or discussion you are pertaining too, but I would be interested in knowing more about it, so that I can comment on it. 
                          Melissa
                          lady_caritas <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                          --- In gnosticism2@ yahoogroups. com, pmcvflag <no_reply@.. .> wrote:
                          >
                          > Miguel and all
                          >
                          > >>>Hope you catch it. BeDuhn was a great interviewee. <<<
                          >
                          > SO, I did catch it... did anyone else here do so? Anyone have
                          > thoughts or comments about the interview, or about the subject?
                          > Questions? Criticisms? Debate points?
                          >
                          > I did notice a few things about the interview. I noticed how Dr
                          > BeDuhn seemed to concede the term "Gnosticism" for the sake of the
                          > interview, but vascilated between drawing the line and trying to
                          make
                          > a concerted effort to use the term in a more popular way.

                          I'm not sure he actually conceded, PMCV, because he did point out
                          differences and similarities between Manichaeans and earlier
                          Gnostics, allowing the listener to at least begin a process of
                          examining this subject of categorization. Possibly his primary focus
                          of the interview could have been to give general information about
                          Mani and the Manichaeans for an audience of varied backgrounds, as
                          you point out, and not get too specific in an academic way about
                          categorization. In fact I don't remember the actual
                          word "Gnosticism" being used all that much in the interview. Yet use
                          of terms like "gnostic movement" or "gnostics" or "antecedent
                          gnostic" would seem to show a predilection for a specific category
                          for comparison in his view.

                          And Dr. BeDuhn (pronounced, if I understand correctly: "beh-doon")
                          did say early on in the interview that how Manichaeism is related to
                          the broader Gnostic movement is debatable. Even though he didn't get
                          into depth about the actual function of gnosis, he did bring out the
                          importance of this type of knowledge for both Manichaeans and earlier
                          Gnostics, involving the true nature of god and soul. Even though we
                          see syncretism, a few differences he pointed out included how in
                          Manichaeism a good god created the world, which distinctly varied
                          from the antecedent Gnostic world-maligned creation, and also the
                          Manichaeans' belief that non-humans, i.e., plants and animals have
                          souls, which is broader than most gnostic systems. We also see a
                          pantheism in Manichaeism in that everything has god in it; everything
                          is a mixture of good and evil, and there is a real affirmation of the
                          natural world, quite different from other gnostic systems. PMCV, in
                          this regard you also pointed out in a previous post (#12810) an
                          important difference concerning cosmology:

                          "Gnostic texts generally see the universal flaw as being caused by
                          division and
                          seperation from the spiritual source. In other words, duality is a bad
                          thing. Manichaeans, on the other hand, describe a setting in which the
                          flaw in the universe was caused not because of duality, but because of
                          a mixing of the dual forces that should naturally be kept apart. In
                          Manichaean thinking the world is a sort of machine for sorting out the
                          dual elements back into their rightful opposites (the world having a
                          positive function). Gnostics, on the other hand, present the world as
                          a flawed creation by an ignorant Demiurge."

                          All this said, there is still the issue of the function of Gnosis in
                          the system, as you also mentioned. And one could examine whether
                          Gnosis or rather Praxis is emphasized as the main soteriological
                          force.

                          > I was also aware of his considerably more diplomatic presentation
                          of
                          > various authors' method of popularizing Gnosticism, and the
                          resulting
                          > information as it really relates to subject at hand. The point
                          about
                          > accentuating certain popular attributes is a nice way of
                          questioning
                          > the validity of those attributes and reliability of the picture
                          those
                          > authors are presenting. If one wished to state that more simply
                          they
                          > could say that many popular efforts are unfortunately based on
                          gloss
                          > and spin.... but I am a bit more blunt than most ;)
                          >
                          > I was a little disappointed that Dr BeDuhn danced past the issue of
                          > the funtion of gnosis in Manichaean thought vs the function in
                          > Gnostic thinking, since it is so core to the issue of what the
                          > category of "Gnostic" is meant to communicate. I do, however,
                          > understand that simply going with the flow may have been easier
                          > considering the shortness of the interview and perhaps the fact
                          that
                          > the audience was likely to be new to the subject. Of course, in
                          this
                          > forum we try to go a bit deeper into this kind of issue. Even in
                          this
                          > forum it has sometimes been difficult to convey for some people
                          that
                          > the Gnostic concept of "Gnosis" is different from the Catholic
                          > concept of "gnosis", because when people see the word they tend to
                          > automatically assume a whole host of connections.
                          >
                          > I have often argued that the Manichaean concept of "gnosis", is far
                          > closer to the orthodox Christian (especially Catholic) usage than
                          to
                          > the Gnostic one. However, I leave that open to discussion and
                          debate.
                          >
                          > PMCV
                          >

                          Would you care to share your views further on this subject, PMCV?

                          One also could posit whether orthodox Christianity most likely
                          derived its concept of gnosis at least in part from Manichaeism, due
                          to the influence of Augustine. Apparently, Dr. BeDuhn currently is
                          working on the figure of Augustine regarding his use of Manichaeism
                          in Catholic material. Should be interesting.

                          BTW, I know it's Halloween, but perhaps some more spirited members
                          lurking in the shadows might want to question or comment more on the
                          interview or Manichaeism in general?

                          It appeared to me that Dr. BeDuhn really enjoyed this subject. He
                          particularly seemed to light up when discussing the Manichaean
                          positive view of world beauty (countering a reputation as "world
                          haters") and part of their affirmation of beauty as manifested in the
                          high value that Manichaeans placed on human art.

                          Cari




                          The Dragon Speaks......Listen.


                          Everyone is raving about the all-new Yahoo! Mail.

                        • lady_caritas
                          ... or discussion you are pertaining too, but I would be interested in knowing more about it, so that I can comment on it. ... Welcome, Melissa! The
                          Message 12 of 21 , Nov 1, 2006
                            --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, Melissa McIntyre <oakraven71@...>
                            wrote:
                            >
                            > Since I am a new member to the group, I don't know what interview
                            or discussion you are pertaining too, but I would be interested in
                            knowing more about it, so that I can comment on it.
                            >
                            > Melissa


                            Welcome, Melissa! The discussion thread begins here, if you'd like
                            to catch up at our website:
                            http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gnosticism2/message/12805

                            The interview with Dr. BeDuhn was about Mani and the Manichaeans and
                            aired this past Sunday at Free Thought Media. I don't know if Miguel
                            is planning on a rebroadcast of the interview, but purchases of
                            interviews are available for a small fee at that website (*not*
                            affiliated with Gnosticism2 group, BTW), usually around a dollar,
                            only if you're interested.
                            http://www.freethoughtmedia.com/

                            Feel free to just ask questions or comment on Mani or Manichaeans in
                            general, too, if you'd like.

                            Cari
                          • Miguel Conner
                            Hi, Well, I think it s safe to say that there is always going to be some cross-pollination between competing religions. And the fact the father of Christian
                            Message 13 of 21 , Nov 1, 2006
                              Hi,

                              Well, I think it's safe to say that there is always going to be some cross-pollination between competing religions.  And the fact the father of Christian theology, Saint Augustine, was, in a sense, playing both sides of the field.  Hopefully, Professor BeDuhn will come out with his new work on Augustine in the near future.

                              Miguel

                              pmcvflag <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                              Miguel and all

                              >>>Hope you catch it. BeDuhn was a great interviewee. <<<

                              SO, I did catch it... did anyone else here do so? Anyone have
                              thoughts or comments about the interview, or about the subject?
                              Questions? Criticisms? Debate points?

                              I did notice a few things about the interview. I noticed how Dr
                              BeDuhn seemed to concede the term "Gnosticism" for the sake of the
                              interview, but vascilated between drawing the line and trying to make
                              a concerted effort to use the term in a more popular way.

                              I was also aware of his considerably more diplomatic presentation of
                              various authors' method of popularizing Gnosticism, and the resulting
                              information as it really relates to subject at hand. The point about
                              accentuating certain popular attributes is a nice way of questioning
                              the validity of those attributes and reliability of the picture those
                              authors are presenting. If one wished to state that more simply they
                              could say that many popular efforts are unfortunately based on gloss
                              and spin.... but I am a bit more blunt than most ;)

                              I was a little disappointed that Dr BeDuhn danced past the issue of
                              the funtion of gnosis in Manichaean thought vs the function in
                              Gnostic thinking, since it is so core to the issue of what the
                              category of "Gnostic" is meant to communicate. I do, however,
                              understand that simply going with the flow may have been easier
                              considering the shortness of the interview and perhaps the fact that
                              the audience was likely to be new to the subject. Of course, in this
                              forum we try to go a bit deeper into this kind of issue. Even in this
                              forum it has sometimes been difficult to convey for some people that
                              the Gnostic concept of "Gnosis" is different from the Catholic
                              concept of "gnosis", because when people see the word they tend to
                              automatically assume a whole host of connections.

                              I have often argued that the Manichaean concept of "gnosis", is far
                              closer to the orthodox Christian (especially Catholic) usage than to
                              the Gnostic one. However, I leave that open to discussion and debate.

                              PMCV




                              Visit http://thegodabovegod.com/ and become part of the new Renaissance of Gnosticism and Truthseeking.


                              Cheap Talk? Check out Yahoo! Messenger's low PC-to-Phone call rates.

                            • Miguel Conner
                              Doh! I should have asked him how to pronounce his name since I m the eternal autodidact! Oh well, you d be surprised at how many guest mispronounce Miguel
                              Message 14 of 21 , Nov 1, 2006
                                Doh!  I should have asked him how to pronounce his name since I'm the eternal autodidact!  Oh well, you'd be surprised at how many guest mispronounce 'Miguel' during interviews.

                                Miguel

                                pmcvflag <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                                Hey Lady Cari

                                >>>I'm not sure he actually conceded, PMCV, because he did point out
                                differences and similarities between Manichaeans and earlier
                                Gnostics, allowing the listener to at least begin a process of
                                examining this subject of categorization. Possibly his primary focus
                                of the interview could have been to give general information about
                                Mani and the Manichaeans for an audience of varied backgrounds, as
                                you point out, and not get too specific in an academic way about
                                categorization. In fact I don't remember the actual
                                word "Gnosticism" being used all that much in the interview. Yet use
                                of terms like "gnostic movement" or "gnostics" or "antecedent
                                gnostic" would seem to show a predilection for a specific category
                                for comparison in his view.<<<

                                Well, what I meant by "concede" is that he was willing to use terms
                                like "other gnostics" when it was clear, as you point out, that he
                                was often drawing a destinction. I noticed that in most instances
                                when he mentioned the Gnostics first he clearly did not define
                                Manichaeans as part of this movement. He even went so far as to
                                explain how Manichaeans probably conciously borrowed Gnostic lingo
                                at a later date in the same way they borrowed Buddhist lingo.
                                However, when mentioning the Manichaeans first he sometimes talked
                                about their relation to "other gnostics" with what sounded to me
                                like a hint of hesitation. Perhaps that stood out to me because I
                                got the unabridged version *lol*, but I can say that in his lectures
                                it was not a matter of "other Gnostics".

                                I do like the term "antecedent gnostics" because it can imply a
                                connection without having to imply a cohesion. It allows for the
                                possibility that Manichaeans are related to the Gnostics without
                                actually BEING Gnostic.

                                >>>And Dr. BeDuhn (pronounced, if I understand correctly: "beh-doon")
                                did say early on in the interview that how Manichaeism is related to
                                the broader Gnostic movement is debatable.<< <

                                True, he did. And yes... Miguel, just for the record you pronounced
                                his name wrong (I have to rib you on that one *lol*).

                                >>>Even though he didn't get into depth about the actual function of
                                gnosis, he did bring out the importance of this type of knowledge
                                for both Manichaeans and earlier Gnostics, involving the true nature
                                of god and soul.<<<

                                Which was interesting because even in his book he talks about how
                                the importance and function of this type of knowledge in the
                                Manichaean system is often based on a questionable reading of the
                                text (Body, pg 98, last section).

                                >>>All this said, there is still the issue of the function of Gnosis
                                in the system, as you also mentioned. And one could examine whether
                                Gnosis or rather Praxis is emphasized as the main soteriological
                                force.<<<

                                Yes, exactly. I know it is a big debate, but a very important one
                                when considering what it is that makes something "Gnostic".

                                >>>Would you care to share your views further on this subject, PMCV?
                                <<<

                                Well, yes I would *lol*. However, I would like to see others offer
                                some views first so that it is open to wider conversation.

                                >>>BTW, I know it's Halloween, but perhaps some more spirited members
                                lurking in the shadows might want to question or comment more on the
                                interview or Manichaeism in general?<<<

                                Oh yeah! I forgot it is Halloween. I guess I should get back to
                                errands before people start knocking on the door! I do hope others
                                chime in on this conversation though.

                                >>>It appeared to me that Dr. BeDuhn really enjoyed this subject. He
                                particularly seemed to light up when discussing the Manichaean
                                positive view of world beauty (countering a reputation as "world
                                haters") and part of their affirmation of beauty as manifested in the
                                high value that Manichaeans placed on human art.<<<

                                Indeed. In fact, I always had the impression the Gnosticism wasn't
                                quite so interesting to him. Manichaeans seem to be his passion, and
                                he proudly claims to be a "Mani maniac" *lol*.

                                PMCV




                                Visit http://thegodabovegod.com/ and become part of the new Renaissance of Gnosticism and Truthseeking.


                                We have the perfect Group for you. Check out the handy changes to Yahoo! Groups.

                              • pmcvflag
                                ... the eternal autodidact! Oh well, you d be surprised at how many guest mispronounce Miguel during interviews.
                                Message 15 of 21 , Nov 2, 2006
                                  >>>Doh! I should have asked him how to pronounce his name since I'm
                                  the eternal autodidact! Oh well, you'd be surprised at how many guest
                                  mispronounce 'Miguel' during interviews.<<<

                                  LOL, yeah, but I bet I have it worse. My last name is Nygren... and I
                                  am trying to remember the last time somebody actually said it right.

                                  PMCV
                                • pmcvflag
                                  Hey Miguel ... some cross-pollination between competing religions.
                                  Message 16 of 21 , Nov 2, 2006
                                    Hey Miguel

                                    >>>Well, I think it's safe to say that there is always going to be
                                    some cross-pollination between competing religions.<<<

                                    Very true. Especially when the religions in question are already a
                                    bit syncratic (or ecclectic, as the case may be). Still, it is even
                                    true of the "orthodox" religions, though many practitioners would
                                    like to believe otherwise.

                                    >>>Hopefully, Professor BeDuhn will come out with his new work on
                                    Augustine in the near future.<<<

                                    Yes. BTW, for those who may be interested Dr BeDuhn also wrote a book
                                    on New Testement translation called "Truth in Translation", you can
                                    get it on Amazon (plug). It may sound off topic, but I have some of
                                    Dr BeDuhn's own translations of New Testement texts, and it would
                                    shock many people how much more Valentinian Paul sounds (or maybe I
                                    should say how like Paul some Valentinian texts sound) when he is
                                    translated in a way that maintains words like "pleroma" the way they
                                    did with the Nag Hammadi texts in English.

                                    PMCV
                                  • Michael Leavitt
                                    Gee, I didn t know you were Vietnamese, common name there.
                                    Message 17 of 21 , Nov 2, 2006
                                      Gee, I didn't know you were Vietnamese, common name there.

                                      pmcvflag wrote:
                                      >>>> Doh! I should have asked him how to pronounce his name since I'm
                                      >>>>
                                      > the eternal autodidact! Oh well, you'd be surprised at how many guest
                                      > mispronounce 'Miguel' during interviews.<<<
                                      >
                                      > LOL, yeah, but I bet I have it worse. My last name is Nygren... and I
                                      > am trying to remember the last time somebody actually said it right.
                                      >
                                      > PMCV
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                    • pmcvflag
                                      Hey Mike ... Unless I am mistaken, I believe the name you may be thinking of is Nguyen. My name, Nygren, is Swedish. PMCV
                                      Message 18 of 21 , Nov 2, 2006
                                        Hey Mike

                                        >>Gee, I didn't know you were Vietnamese, common name there.<<

                                        Unless I am mistaken, I believe the name you may be thinking of is
                                        Nguyen. My name, Nygren, is Swedish.

                                        PMCV
                                      • Michael Leavitt
                                        Forgot the :-) again.
                                        Message 19 of 21 , Nov 3, 2006
                                          Forgot the :-) again.

                                          pmcvflag wrote:
                                          > Hey Mike
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >>> Gee, I didn't know you were Vietnamese, common name there.<<
                                          >>>
                                          >
                                          > Unless I am mistaken, I believe the name you may be thinking of is
                                          > Nguyen. My name, Nygren, is Swedish.
                                          >
                                          > PMCV
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
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