In Search of “the Woman Within”: A Study of Manichaean Motherhood

Polly Hana Yorioka

Abstract


Manichaeism is famous as a dualistic, "world-renouncing," anti-reproductive religion. However, recent excavations in Egypt have produced documents that suggest the reality of large Manichaean families. This paper seeks to flesh out the real lives of auditor women through analysis of cosmological, liturgical, historical, and private texts. The results of this study suggest that, while Manichaean cosmology is distinctly against sexual reproduction, the cosmology also made it possible for women to be respected and play important roles in the community, as celibate elect and mothers.

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ISSN 2368-9323

 

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