Mani was its founder who had taught in Persia, and had met there a martyr’s death by crucifixion in 276 or 277. The fundamental belief of the religion pictured the universe as the scene of an eternal conflict of two powers, the one good, the other evil. Man, as we know him, is a mixed product, the spiritual part of his nature consists of the good element, the physical of the evil. His task, therefore, is to free the good in him from the evil; and this can be accomplished by prayer, but especially by abstinence from all the enjoyments of evil: riches, lust, wine, meats, luxurious houses and the like. Like Gnosticism, taught that the true spiritual Jesus had no material body and did not actually die. Augustine was a Manichean for nine years, from 372-383, before dissatisfaction with its teachings arose in his mind.
[tags]Augustine, BlogRodent, church-history, ChurchRodent, Gnosticism, history, Jesus, Manicheanism, martyr[/tags]