Augustine, Faustus, and the Jews

Jason David BeDuhn

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Taking Paula Fredriksen’s Augustine and the Jews as representative of deeply entrenched assumptions regarding Manichaean hostile attitudes towards Judaism, the present study compares Augustine’s and Faustus’s treatment of the Jews within the Contra Faustum, and finds in Faustus a complex and nuanced set of attitudes towards Jews and Judaism which—contrary to Fredriksen—are more benign and favourable than Augustine’s. To the degree that Faustus strikes anti-Jewish notes, they derive from developments peculiar to western Manichaeism, in an environment where issues of biblical canon hardened Manichaean opposition to the Old Testament, which—rather than Jews—is the true target of Faustus’s polemic. By contrast, Mani and early Manichaeism show greater continuity with Jewish traditions, albeit in a sectarian Jewish-Christian form that apparently had marginalized Moses and Torah. Traces of this earlier position vis-à-vis Jewish traditions still can be found in Faustus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationNag Hammadi and Manichaean Studies
PublisherBrill Academic Publishers
Number of pages22
StatePublished - 2021

Publication series

NameNag Hammadi and Manichaean Studies
ISSN (Print)0929-2470

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Classics
  • History
  • Religious studies
  • Philosophy


Dive into the research topics of 'Augustine, Faustus, and the Jews'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this