The Mandaeans: The Last Gnostics
This fascinating book presents for the first time a complete introduction to Mandaeanism, a branch of Gnosticism that has survived to the present day.
In an engaging style that mirrors the interesting nature of his subject, Edmondo Lupieri portrays the traditional way of life of the Mandaeans, still found living today in Iraq and Iran, and introduces readers to the world of Mandaean ideas -- including the view that they are the only ones on earth who possess the true and oldest faith.
Lupieri reconstructs the history of the interaction between Mandaeanism and the Western world, beginning with Ricoldo da Montecroce, a thirteenth-century Italian monk who is the first known European to write about the Mandaeans, and continuing on to present scholarship. He also offers a critical analysis of the Mandaean written and oral traditions concerning their origin, history, and self-understanding.
The book is made even more valuable by the inclusion of an extensive anthology of translated Mandaean texts, complete with notes. This collection of writings presents the spiritual world of Mandaeanism with fragments of mythicaltheological texts and pages of ethical and historical meditations.