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Augustine's Manichaean Dilemma, Volume 1 (Hardback)

Conversion and Apostasy, 373-388 CE

Ancient History > Late Antiquity & Byzantium > Early Christianity & Patristics Ancient History > Late Antiquity & Byzantium > Late Antiquity & Byzantium Archaeology

Imprint: Pennsylvania University Press
Pages: 402
ISBN: 9780812242102
Published: 31st December 2010
Casemate UK Academic

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In this first volume of Augustine's Manichaean Dilemma, BeDuhn reconstructs Augustine's decade-long adherence to Manichaeism, apostasy from it, and subsequent conversion to Nicene Christianity. Based on his own testimony and contemporaneous sources from and about Manichaeism, the book situates many features of Augustine's young adulthood within his commitment to the sect, while pointing out ways he failed to understand or put into practice key parts of the Manichaean system. It explores Augustine's dissatisfaction with the practice-oriented faith promoted by the Manichaean leader Faustus and the circumstances of heightened intolerance, anti-Manichaean legislation, and pressures for social conformity surrounding his apostasy. Seeking a historically circumscribed account of Augustine's subsequent conversion to Nicene Christianity, BeDuhn challenges entrenched conceptions of conversion derived in part from Augustine's later idealized account of his own spiritual development. He closely examines Augustine's evolving self-presentation in the year before and following his baptism and argues that the new identity to which he committed himself bore few of the hallmarks of the orthodoxy with which he is historically identified.

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