Also found in: Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to Manichaeism: Donatism, Gnosticism, Neoplatonism, Pelagianism


 (măn′ĭ-kē′ĭz′əm) also Man·i·chae·an·ism (-kē′ə-nĭz′əm)
1. The syncretic, dualistic religious philosophy taught by the Persian prophet Mani, combining elements of Zoroastrian, Christian, and Gnostic thought and opposed by the imperial Roman government, Neoplatonist philosophers, and orthodox Christians.
2. A dualistic philosophy dividing the world between good and evil principles or regarding matter as intrinsically evil and mind as intrinsically good.

[From Late Latin Manichaeus, Manichaean, from Late Greek Manikhaios, from Manikhaios, Mani.]

Man·i·chae·an (măn′ĭ-kē′ən) n. & adj.


(ˈmænɪkiːˌɪzəm) or


1. (Other Non-Christian Religions) the system of religious doctrines, including elements of Gnosticism, Zoroastrianism, Christianity, Buddhism, etc, taught by the Persian prophet Mani about the 3rd century ad. It was based on a supposed primordial conflict between light and darkness, or goodness and evil
2. (Theology) chiefly RC Church any similar heretical philosophy involving a radical dualism
[C14: from Late Latin Manichaeus, from Late Greek Manikhaios of Mani]
ˈManichee n

Manichaeism, Manicheism, Manicheanism

1. the doctrines and practices of the dualistic religious system of Manes, a blending of Gnostic Christianity, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, and other elements, especially doctrines of a cosmic conflict between forces of light and darkness, the darkness and evilness of matter, and the necessity for a sexual, vegetarian asceticism.
2. any similar dualistic system, considered heretical by orthodox Christian standards. Cf. Gnosticism. — Manichean, n., adj. — Manicheistic, adj.
See also: Heresy
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.Manichaeism - a religion founded by Manes in the third century; a synthesis of Zoroastrian dualism between light and dark and Babylonian folklore and Buddhist ethics and superficial elements of Christianity; spread widely in the Roman Empire but had largely died out by 1000
faith, religion, religious belief - a strong belief in a supernatural power or powers that control human destiny; "he lost his faith but not his morality"


Manicheism [ˌmænɪˈkiːɪzəm] Nmaniqueísmo m
References in classic literature ?
Unhappily he had no one to tell him that this was rampant Manichaeism, else he might have seen his error.
Although Manichaeism is hardly the only religion whose mythology describes a purifying movement toward a final triumphant separation of good and evil).
In his book, Truth and Tolerance: Christian Belief and World Religions, Joseph Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) explains that intrinsic evil is not, as Manichaeism insists, a power that opposes God and goodness in a grandiose cosmic battle, but is, instead, "the destruction of being," (10) a destruction that must be confronted in a Christian way.
But Monophyitism is an offspring of a much earlier heresy, Gnosticism (from gnosis, meaning the knowledge of the initiate) otherwise known as Dualism or Manichaeism.
Minority religions are from the Baha'i faith, Christianity, East Asian religions such as Confucianism, Shinto and Taoism, and Iranian religions such as Zoroastrianism and Manichaeism.
Dichotomous Thinking: This form of Manichaeism means emphasizing a good in-group against an evil out-group.
In Book III of his Confessions, Augustine writes of his conversion to Manichaeism, a gnostic religion founded in the third century that presented a universe divided between good and evil, light and dark.
On the other hand, Thomas's voice (as "poised and confused") and his postmodern technique of splicing history and self re-imagine the polarized forces that Baraka indicts in a poetry that substantiates his Manichaeism by tempering it.
112) Since the idea of salvation depending on the other supreme being differs drastically from Indian Buddhism, Amida Buddhism is believed to have originated in central Asia rather than India proper, and emerged in contact with Zoroastrianism and Manichaeism.
Bush from charges of dangerous Manichaeism, not because it is the polite thing for an ex-statesman to do in service to a fellow former leader, but because he shares Bush's view of the world.
Further east, other steppe peoples adopted Nestorian Christianity, Manichaeism, or Buddhism; Jewish communities could also be found in Central Asia along the Silk Road (Arkhipov 1995:17-54; Shapira 2005:504-505; Shapira 2010:83-85).
What does Blairism really amount to, apart from a strange mixture of Manichaeism and messianism?