Reading Psalm 4 To the Manicheans

Reading Psalm 4 To the Manicheans READING PSALM 4 TO THE MANICHEANS BY ANNEMART KOTZÉ This article is joining a number of voices that have been going up in recent years, pointing to the (anti-)Manichean content and purpose of Augustine's Confessions.' It is specific and limited in scope, looking only at one short passage (Conf. IX.4.8-11 ) for the attitude towards the Manicheans it reveals, but it also suggests reasons why particularly this aspect of this passage might be important for our understanding of the Confes.sions as a whole. That Augustine's account of his reading of Ps. 4 (Conf. IX.4.8-11 ) was something unparalleled in ancient literature has been pointed out by O'Donnell and affirmed by Stock.2 That the Confessions are at least partly anti-Manichean in content is a fact that is widely known and is receiving more attention in the wake of the discovery of and heightened interest in Manichean documents.3 This knowledge however does not prepare the reader for the strong positive emotion towards the Manicheans revealed ' More specifically, this article is an elaboration on the remarks made on Conf. IX (246- 247) by J. van Oort, Manicheism and anti-Manicheism in Augustine's Confe.s.sion?s, Manichaean Studies III, Atti del terzo congresso internazionale Vigiliae Christianae Brill

Reading Psalm 4 To the Manicheans

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© 2001 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
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