What Does Oral Revelation Look Like? Comparing Rabbinic and Manichaean Textualities — a Talk by Jae Han

This is an online talk (Eastern Time)

Within the Manichaean tradition—a popular, dualistic form of Christianity whose influence was widespread across the ancient world—there are two modes of revelation: written revelation, authored by the prophet Mani himself, and oral revelation, “authored” by Mani but written by his disciples. How can we understand the textuality of Manichean “oral revelation” in the two major codices—the Kephalaia of the Teacher and the Kephalaia of the Wisdom of my Lord Mani—that purport to contain the oral wisdom of Mani that the “cosmos did not permit him to write”? What are the literary seams that bind these texts together? And how can we compare and contextualize this “oral-revelatory” textuality with ancient rabbinic practices of representing the “Oral Torah”?

Jae Han is Assistant Professor in Religious Studies and the Program for Judaic Studies at Brown University. He is the author of Prophets and Prophecy in the Late Antique Near East, published with Cambridge University Press. His articles have appeared in Harvard Theological Review, Journal of Late Antiquity, Numen, and others. He is currently working on his second project, which focuses on reading the Manichaean corpus from the Roman Empire as literature, writ large. His larger goal is to demonstrate the utility of this rich corpus for thinking broadly about late antiquity.

This talk is being held in the context of BISR’s Language Learning and Critique program, an innovative approach to classical languages and their ever-changing scenes of reception. RSVPs will receive a link to the Zoom meeting room where the talk will be held. This talk will be recorded. Please RSVP below.

This talk is now available for viewing on BISR’s Vimeo page; click here to watch.

Course Schedule

Wednesday, 6:30pm ET
April 17, 2024


Registration Open

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