Dr Nic Baker-Brian
Nicholas. J. Baker-Brian, Manichaeism in the Later Roman Empire: A Study of Augustine’s Contra Adimantum (Edwin Mellen Press. Lewiston, New York, 2009).
Abstract: The book is the first-ever detailed study of Augustine’s work against Adimantus, a third-century follower of Mani, the putative founder of Manichaeism. The book offers a detailed historical commentary examining the clash of two rival ancient forms of Christianity in Late Antiquity, i.e. catholic Christianity vs. Manichaean Christianity. Its locational focus falls on the role of Mani’s teachings in Roman North Africa, Roman Egypt, and Sasanian Persia, and it presents a detailed analysis of the theological, cultural, and ethical issues raised by Augustine’s work. It also offers a reconstruction of Adimantus’ own (lost) work, which Augustine challenged towards the end of the fourth century AD.
Nicholas J. Baker-Brian, Manichaeism: An Ancient Faith Rediscovered (T & T Clark: Continuum. London, 2012).
Abstract: The book presents an analysis of the Manichaean religion in its late antique form. It surveys the origins of Manichaeism in the third century AD, and considers the range of available evidence in the reconstruction of the theological, ethical and ritual features of Manichaeism. It also examines the role that the biographical representation of Mani (arguably one of the most controversial figures in late ancient religion) played in influencing the role of religion in Late Antiquity. It also presents an analysis of Manichaean narrative traditions (i.e. its famous theogonic myth), and links the myth to the practice of Manichaean ethics and rituals.
Journal of the American Academy of Religion 80 (2012), 266-69 (D.M. Reis)
Journal of Ecclesiastical History 63 (2011), 110-11 (G. Stroumsa)
Nicholas J. Baker-Brian, ‘The Politics of Virtue in Julian’s Misopogon’, in Nicholas J. Baker-Brian and S.F. Tougher (eds.) Emperor and Author: The Writings of Julian the Apostate (The Classical Press of Wales, Swansea, 2012), 262-80.
Abstract: This paper considers the Emperor Julian's 'Beard-Hater', and demonstrates the extent to which Julian as an author combined both a rhetorical response to the jibes of the citizens of Antioch and their devotion to their former champion, Constantius II, with a philosophical commitment to the Platonic value of sophrosyne, realised in a civic setting. The image of Julian in the Misopogon as a skilled promoter of imperial values is discussed, and set within the nascent period of his rule, prior to his departure for Persia.
Nicholas J. Baker-Brian, ‘Women in Augustine’s anti-Manichaean writings: Rumour, Rhetoric and Ritual’, in M. Vinzent, Studia Patristic 53: Proceedings of the 16th International Patristic Conference, Oxford University (Peeters: Leuven, 2013, forthcoming)
Abstract: This paper critically re-evaluates a number of Augustine’s anti-Manichaean writings, principally his De moribus manichaeorum and De natura boni, together with the anti-Manichaean entry in his De haeresibus from the perspective of recent developments in the study of gender, visual representations as ‘viewing’, and the role of rumour and hearsay in ancient heresiological discourse. It discusses the role of women in Augustine’s anti-Manichaean rhetoric, and also salvages historical impressions of Manichaean women from the patristic literature of the late fourth and early fifth centuries.