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

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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




          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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > 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 8 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 9 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
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > Yahoo! Groups Links
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
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