M. (Mattias) Brand, MA

  • PhD student

Telephone number: +31 (0)71 527 1699
E-Mail: m.brand@hum.leidenuniv.nl
Faculty / Department: Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen, Leiden Institute for Area Studies, LUCSoR
Office Address: Witte Singel-complex
Witte Singel 25/M. de Vrieshof 4
2311 BZ Leiden
Room number 1.05a


Manichaeans and Others in Fourth-Century Egypt: The Mechanisms of Religious Change in Late Antiquity

The recent excavations of the village of Kellis in Egypt have unearthed a large archive of Manichaean texts. These are not only the oldest datable Manichaean texts, but also the only ones to have been found in a controlled archaeological excavation. The story they tell has the potential to change the way we see the large-scale religious and social transformations of late antiquity. This project will study these documents as a collection in their double context: that of Egyptian Manichaeism on the one hand, and of a thriving village inhabited by Manichaeans, Christians and other Egyptians on the other. By focusing on the social and ritual structures underpinning this fast-growing world religion in its village context, and by developing a theoretical orientation that takes into account the fact that all religion is local religion, this project will make the connection between the ordinary lives and letters of a small religious community in the Egyptian desert and the pervasive societal and religious transformations of Late Antiquity.

Last Modified: 11-12-2015