400.11 Introductory (pps.92-93)

hard cover page 93

two deities, one good and the other malevolent.349 Such a dualism was embodied in the ancient and now essentially defunct Zoroastrian religion. Zoroaster taught that two rival gods existed, Ahura Mazda (or Ormuzd), the source of good, and Angra Mainyu (or Ahriman), the source of evil. In the early Christian centuries a similarly dramatic dualism was taught by Mani (born about 215 c.E.) and became the basis of the Manichaean religion, which so strongly attracted St. Augustine prior to his conversion to Christianity. In the twelfth and early thirteenth centuries the Albigenses in the south of France revived a Manichaean-like dualism until the sect was stamped out of existence by the Catholic Church.350

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349 See Maccoby, “Christianity’s Break with Judaism,” p. 40. “In the Hebrew Bible this world, having been created by God, is regarded as good, and as the scene of the human drama, where all things will eventually find a solution. At the opposite extreme is the literature of the gnostic sects that flourished around the time of the emergence of Christianity; in its view this world is evil, the creation of an evil Power.”

350 Hick, Evil and the God of Love, p. 25.
Cf. Maccoby, “Christianity’s Break with Judaism,” p. 42. “In the Hebrew Bible this world . . . is regarded as good, . . . where all things will eventually find a solution. At the opposite extreme [are] the Gnostic sects. . . . The Pseudepigrapha and the Dead Sea Scrolls, both of which envisage a war between good angels and bad angels, and which may be thought of as a first step away from the unified, humanistic outlook of both the Hebrew Bible and rabbinic Judaism, nevertheless represent a milder form of dualism than that in either gnosticism or Christianity.”

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