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“The widely influential gnostic religion of late antiquity, founded and spread by the Persian Mani (216-77), taught a radical dualism of good and evil that is metaphysically grounded in coeternal and independent cosmic powers of Light and Darkness. This world was regarded as a mixture of good and evil in which spirit represents Light and matter represents Darkness. Manichaean morality was severely ascetic. Before his conversion to Christianity, Augustine was an adherent of Manichaeism.”
— Philip L. Quinn, The Oxford Companion to Philosophy (Oxford, 1995), 519.