Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online

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Mani (216–277 CE), the founder of Manichaeism, a religion that is no longer practiced, claimed to receive divine revelations and composed several religious writings. The name “Manichaeism,” however, was rarely used by his followers, who preferred to refer to themselves (e.g.) as “the living generation.”


Mani was born in southern Mesopotamia. According to Manichaean hagiography, when he was a little boy, he and his father joined a rel…

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Pedersen, Nils Arne, “Mani/Manichaeism”, in: Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online, General Editor David G. Hunter, Paul J.J. van Geest, Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte. Consulted online on 02 October 2023 <>
First published online: 2018

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