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

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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 1 of 21 , Oct 28, 2006
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      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 2 of 21 , Oct 28, 2006
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        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.


        Low, Low, Low Rates! Check out Yahoo! Messenger's cheap PC-to-Phone call rates.

      • 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 3 of 21 , Oct 29, 2006
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          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 4 of 21 , Oct 29, 2006
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            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


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


            Access over 1 million songs - Yahoo! Music Unlimited Try it today.
          • 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 5 of 21 , Oct 30, 2006
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              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 6 of 21 , Oct 31, 2006
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                --- 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 7 of 21 , Oct 31, 2006
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                  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 8 of 21 , Nov 1, 2006
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                    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 9 of 21 , Nov 1, 2006
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                      --- 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 10 of 21 , Nov 1, 2006
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                        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




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                      • 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 11 of 21 , Nov 1, 2006
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                          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.


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                        • pmcvflag
                          ... the eternal autodidact! Oh well, you d be surprised at how many guest mispronounce Miguel during interviews.
                          Message 12 of 21 , Nov 2, 2006
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                            >>>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 13 of 21 , Nov 2, 2006
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                              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 14 of 21 , Nov 2, 2006
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                                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
                                >
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                                > Yahoo! Groups Links
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                              • 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 15 of 21 , Nov 2, 2006
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                                  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 16 of 21 , Nov 3, 2006
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                                    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
                                    >
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                                    > Yahoo! Groups Links
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