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1[mass noun] A dualistic religious system with Christian, Gnostic, and pagan elements, founded in Persia in the 3rd century by Manes (c.216–c.276) and based on a supposed primeval conflict between light and darkness. It was widespread in the Roman Empire and in Asia, and survived in eastern Turkestan (Xinjiang) until the 13th century.
- ‘For instance, unlike Christianity or Manichaeism, there is no historical founder in Mandaean tradition.’
- ‘The kings converted to Manichaeism, the ‘religion of light’, imported by refugees from the Middle East.’
- ‘Although it is often portrayed as a Christian heresy, Manicheism was in fact an independent religion.’
- ‘Gnosticism eventually declined and was replaced by Manichaeism, founded by Mani.’
- ‘After abandoning Manicheism he turned to Neoplatism to elucidate his metaphysical thoughts about God.’
- 1.1 Religious or philosophical dualism.
- ‘The possibility of attaining paradise lies, instead, in the deconstruction of Manicheism by means of the integration of opposites.’
- ‘With spiritual overtones, and an emphasis on an eternal struggle between equally matched forces of darkness and light, the films suggest a kind of pop-culture Manichaeism.’
- ‘For gone is the implied but relatively crude Manichaeism of the earlier books.’
- ‘Central to its argument is the idea that the novel offers a critique of essentialism and Manicheism.’
Early 17th century: from late Latin Manichaeus (from the name Manes) + -ism.
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