“Mani’s renown as a painter survived his church…” (!)
The page here has includes a wealth of information about Manichaeism, and it features a 3D virtual tour of the exhibition, which closed early in 2020 at the Chester Beatty Library.
“The Mystery of Mani
In 1929, seven papyrus books from the lost Manichaean religion were discovered in Egypt. Dated to c. 400 AD, these unique texts proved critical in deepening understanding of this once thriving, yet effectively suppressed faith.
The Manichaean religion was founded by the prophet Mani in the third century. Mani saw the world as a combat between the forces of light and dark. Borrowing heavily from Zoroastrianism, Buddhism and Christianity, he considered his teachings to be a unification and clarification of all existing religions. Using picture books, multilingual missionaries carried the religion west from Mesopotamia across the Mediterranean, and east into Northern India, and Central and East Asia.
Ninety years on, this exhibition highlights the four books Beatty acquired, and features international loans that have never before been on public display.”