Garden of Eden to become Iraqi National Park

“Garden of Eden to become Iraqi National Park.” That’s the headline in New Scientist. The article is about the preservation of a part of the southern marshlands of Iraq, the region where the Ma’dan Marsh Arabs have historically lived, and a traditional homeland of the Mandaeans. Local lore also claims it was the site of the Garden of [Read More…]

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Earliest Depiction of Mandaeans Seen in the West

Matthew Morgenstern shared this on Facebook: [Read more…]

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Mandaeism in Antiquity and the Antiquity of Mandaeism

Charles Häberl has shared an entry he wrote for Religion Compass, “Mandaeism in Antiquity and the Antiquity of Mandaeism,” on Academia.edu. If you are interested in the Mandaeans, then not only this new upload, but many other things he has shared, will be of interest to you.   [Read more…]

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Discovering the Mandaeans

On the Bowdoin College website, there is a podcast featuring Jorunn Buckley. Here’s the description: Assistant Professor of Religion Jorunn Buckley, the world’s leading scholar on the Mandaeans – an endangered Middle Eastern religious sect – talks about how she became involved in human rights work on their behalf. Click here to download it and [Read More…]

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Society for Mandaean Studies

At the recent ARAM conference on the Mandaeans, a topic which some of us had discussed previously was brought up, namely the creation of a Society for Mandaean Studies. Matthew Morgenstern has responded by setting up a Facebook page to get the process underway to formally bring such an organization into existence. If you are [Read More…]

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The End of the 2013 ARAM Conference on the Mandaeans

The ARAM conference on the Mandaeans officially ended at 7pm this evening (although some of us hung out afterwards). Here is a final photo we took in front of the Oriental Institute with most of the attendees: This includes the scholars as well as some Mandaeans who attended not because they are academics, but because [Read More…]

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The Mandaean Refugee Crisis

The last two presentations were by Erica Hunter and by Layla al-Roomi and another Mandaean, and they focused on the situation of Mandaeans today. Mandaeans face discrimination and persecution in their historic homelands in Iran and Iran, and in the diaspora they face the difficulty of trying to preserve their heritage when they may have [Read More…]

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Pihta and Polemic in the Mandaean Canonical Prayerbook

Jorunn Buckley's paper at the ARAM conference on the Mandaeans focused on a series of prayers focused on the pihta, a special bread used in Mandaean ritual. There are references and allusions to other groups which are viewed as not making or eating the bread in an appropriate manner.   I think that CP357 is [Read More…]

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Female Figures in Mandaean Religious Art

The first presentation this morning was by Sandra van Rompaey and was about the way female figures are depicted in Mandaean religious art. There are distinctive features, such as how the bodies are shaded and whether they have hair. But there is also a parity, an equality to male beings, in how they are depicted, [Read More…]

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Mandaean Banquet

One nice feature of the ARAM conference on the Mandaeans is having a banquet one night. Last time as well as this time, it was held at Al-Shami Lebanese Restaurant. In addition to being attended by scholars working on some aspect of Mandaean life, literature, history, or Mandaic language, some Mandaeans living in the UK [Read More…]

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Proceedings from Previous ARAM Conferences on the Mandaeans

It was good to see that the proceedings from previous conferences on the Mandaeans – in 2007 and 2009 – have finally appeared in print. There is a display copy here!   [Read more…]

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