‘Not to depart from Christ’: Augustine between ‘Manichaean’ and ‘Catholic’ Christianity
AbstractThe North African Manichaean community provided the setting in which Augustine reaffirmed a commitment to Christ and to ‘Christianity’ that he had largely abandoned in the years of his secular education, and it cultivated in him a positive relationship to ‘religion’ in addition to his personal fondness for ‘philosophy’. In both ways, his time with the Manichaeans formed an essential background to his later commitment to the ‘Catholic’ Christian community, and he continued to wrestle with that debt through his endeavours to convince Manichaeans that the Catholic Church could successfully address their earnest ‘Christian’ spiritual aspirations in a way Manichaean doctrine and practice never could.
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