Rediscover the Manichaean religion through the words of its followers
In 1929, seven papyrus books from the lost Manichaean religion were discovered in Egypt. Dated to c. 400 AD, these unique texts proved critical in deepening understanding of this once thriving, yet effectively suppressed faith.
The Manichaean religion was founded by the prophet Mani in the third century. Mani saw the world as a combat between the forces of light and dark. Borrowing heavily from Zoroastrianism, Buddhism and Christianity, he considered his teachings to be a unification and clarification of all existing religions. Using picture books, multilingual missionaries carried the religion west from Mesopotamia across the Mediterranean, and east into Northern India, and Central and East Asia.
Ninety years on, this exhibition highlights the four books Beatty acquired, and features international loans that have never before been on public display.
This exhibition was co-curated by Paul Dilley, Associate Professor, University of Iowa.
Listen to the Exhibition Audio Tour
Audio - The Mystery of Mani
Learn more about Mani
Fifth Papyrus Curatorial and Conservation Meeting
20-21 June 2019
The Chester Beatty was delighted to host the Fifth Papyrus Curatorial and Conservation Meeting. In addition to the exciting series of papers, the programme comprised a behind-the-scenes showcase of highlights from the Chester Beatty papyrus collections as well as a visit and tour of Trinity College Dublin.
This symposium was open to museum professionals and scholars working in the field of conservation and curation of papyrus collections.
Manichaeism in Egypt: The Medinet Madi Library after 90 Years
18-19 October 2019
The International Association of Manichaean Studies (IAMS), in collaboration with the Chester Beatty, is pleased to announce the Manichaeism in Egypt: The Medinet Madi Library after 90 Years symposium. Presentations will be given on the latest developments in the editing, translation, and publication of Medinet Madi codices, and new research that grows out of them.
It will be held at the Chester Beatty, Dublin, Friday 18 and Saturday 19 October 2019.
In celebration of the 90 years since the discovery of the Medinet Madi manuscript, the Chester Beatty has organised a special exhibition – The Mystery of Mani – which will be on the display in the Arts of the Book gallery.
Closed Mondays: Nov - Feb
Closed 1 Jan; Good Friday; 24-26 Dec
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