- the system of religious doctrines, including elements of Gnosticism, Zoroastrianism, Christianity, Buddhism, etc, taught by the Persian prophet Mani about the 3rd century ad . It was based on a supposed primordial conflict between light and darkness or goodness and evil
- mainly RC Church any similar heretical philosophy involving a radical dualism
Examples from the Web for manichaeism
Manichaeism was thus able to satisfy the new wants of an old world.
It is a mistake to suppose that he accepted any kind of Manichaeism as his solution of the problem of the universe.
In reality his thought is much more permeated with Christian feeling than with Manichaeism.
Augustine stayed for a year in Rome, occupied in literary work, particularly in controversy with Manichaeism.
Manichaeism, that mixed product of Zoroastrian and Christian-gnostic elements, first enthralled him.
Word Origin and History for manichaeism
1550s, "the religion of the Manichees" (late 14c.) a Gnostic Christian sect named for its founder, Mani (Latin Manichæus), c.215-275, Syriac-speaking apostle from a Jesus cult in Mesopotamia in 240s, who taught a universal religion. Vegetarian and visionary, they saw "particles of light and goodness" trapped in evil matter and regarded Satan as co-eternal with God. The universe was a scene of struggle between good and evil. The sect was characterized by dualism and a double-standard of perfectionist "elects" and a larger group of fellow travelers who would require several reincarnations before their particles of light would be liberated.