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Jason D. BeDuhn
Northern Arizona University (Flagstaff, AZ 86011-0001)
The Influence of the Religion of Manichaeism from about 400 to 430 on Saint Augustine of Hippo (354-430)

Research and preparation of a book on the influence of Manichaeism, an important religion in the Middle East in the third century CE, on the thought and writings of Saint Augustine of Hippo (354-430).

This book project completes a trilogy contracted by the University of Pennsylvania Press on Augustine of Hippo (d. 430 CE) and his intellectual engagement with Manichaeism. This third book covers the last thirty years of his life, when his views underwent a "darkening" regarding the depravity of human nature. Some of his contemporaries and modern interpreters have attributed these views to Manichaean influence. Through a chronological account of Augustine's encounters with Manichaeans and critics within the Catholic Church, this book explores (1) the problem of evil, (2) the source of human motivation to sin, (3) free will, predestination, and fatalism, and (4) divine and human justice. Through these major issues of the Western intellectual tradition, the reader will be shown how much the Western thought on them owes to a forgotten episode of inter-religious dialogue and debate with a now extinct religion that nonetheless has left its lasting traces.

Project fields:
History of Religion; Intellectual History

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
8/1/2018 – 9/30/2018