American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. The syncretic, dualistic religious philosophy taught by the Persian prophet Manes, combining elements of Zoroastrian, Christian, and Gnostic thought and opposed by the imperial Roman government, Neo-Platonist philosophers, and orthodox Christians.
- n. A dualistic philosophy dividing the world between good and evil principles or regarding matter as intrinsically evil and mind as intrinsically good.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. See Manicheism.
- n. religion A syncretic, dualistic religion that combined elements of Zoroastrian, Christian, and Gnostic thought, founded by the Iranian prophet Mani in 3rd century AD.
- n. philosophy A dualistic philosophy dividing the world between good and evil principles, or regarding matter as intrinsically evil and mind as intrinsically good.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. The doctrines taught, or system of principles maintained, by the Manichæans.
- n. a religion founded by Manes in the third century; a synthesis of Zoroastrian dualism between light and dark and Babylonian folklore and Buddhist ethics and superficial elements of Christianity; spread widely in the Roman Empire but had largely died out by 1000
- From Latin Manichaeus + -ism, from Classical Syriac ܡܐܢܝ ܚܝܐ (Mānī ḥayyā, "Living Mani"), from the name of its founder, Mani, from Middle Persian and Classical Syriac Mānī (Modern Persian مانی (Māni)). (Wiktionary)
“It was a vulgar form of the ancient ideology known as "Manichaeism" -- the idea that the movement of history is explained by an eternal struggle between the forces of good and the forces of evil.”
“The seeds of the rhetoric of evil can be found in the ancient religious ideology, originating in Persia and pervasive in contemporary religious fundamentalism, known as Manichaeism--the idea that the movement of history is explained by an eternal struggle between the forces of good and the forces of evil.”
“This assumed liberty, however is, as we apprehend, of the very essence of Rationalism; and it may be called the Manichaeism of interpretation.”
“[Page 332] 'Manichaeism' I am ever guilty of, is in judging who is the right person to go to when I want a thing done.”
“The self-righteous delusion of innocence encouraged a kind of Manichaeism dividing the world between good (us) and evil (our critics).”
“In the rhetoric of evil, Manichaeism is harnessed for political purposes--one's own group is claimed to embody the forces of good, and the opposing group, the forces of evil.”
“Catharist, that outcropping of ancient Manichaeism in medieval Provence; another, that she and her fellow captain, Gilles de Laval, Sire de Rais, were sorcerers, adept in Black Magic.”
“But Daoism, Islam, Hinduism and Nestorian Christianity from Syria and Manichaeism from Persia also were practiced, and the Mongols showed deference for those different religions.”
“His intellect wandered along with his romantic interests, ranging over Manichaeism, skepticism and Platonism, but nothing satisfied.”
“People are dying in this swamp of deregulation and dire enthusiasm for economic (and socio-political) Manichaeism.”
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