By Nils Arne Pedersen

This quantity is the 1st large research of a Christian paintings from the 4th century, Titus of Bostra's Contra Manichaeos, that's the single textual content from the early Greek Church commencing a complete theodicy. The examine illuminates the text's relation to modern theology and philosophy and translates it within the gentle of the ideological conflicts among pagans, Catholic Christians and Manichaeans within the 4th century. It comprises an exam of the potential Manichaean assets utilized by Titus, and, in addition, a severe textual content examine and translation of primary passages in Contra Manichaeos, established either at the Greek textual content and the Syriac model of it.

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Extra resources for Demonstrative Proof In Defence Of God: A Study Of Titus Of Bostra's Contra Manichaeos : The Work's Sources, Aims, And Relation To Its Contemporary Theology

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Titus then returns to the teaching that the light that is bound is slowly being released via the moon. 40). And what about those souls that sinned through their long connection with evil, are they also punished? Mani believes so, saying that they are attached to the ‘globe’ together with wickedness, with the result that God is punishing His own nature. Nothing could be more absurd. 41). Titus then takes the opportunity to reject yet another point in Mani’s book. While here on earth matter is occupied with the captive light, God is sitting filling up the abyss from which it emanates with earth.

In the Syriac edition of Titus a division into chapters is sustained through all four books, an order that De Lagarde and later Nagel also transferred to the Greek text and which I employ in the present study; this chapter division must not be confused with that of Migne, PG 18. a. Summary of Book I The first four chapters lay out the fundamental purpose and content of the entire work—a defence of God and His Creation and a demonstration that evil is an ethical category, not a natural one. Titus begins his work by mentioning certain persons (undoubtedly heretics) who out of a genuine desire to acquit God of the responsibility for human sin have ended up denying that Divine Providence reveals itself in everything; the worst of these is Mani, who placed evil on an almost equal footing with God.

Mani lays a charge against those who kill animals for nourishment, since the animals are animated with souls; the power of goodness is confined within them. Titus then asks who it was that from the beginning allowed the animals to be handed over to man as food. It cannot be the work of the evil one in order to deride the good one, for in that case the evil one would be gifted with reason (which the Manichaeans deny, according to Titus), and furthermore the Manichaeans admit that God is the Creator.

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