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 particularly interesting, since it lists a variety of groups, starting with Jews and ending with Arabs. Since the latter are accused of eating blood, it seems to me that the reference is probably to Christians. But for a reference to “Arabs” to be a reference to Arabs, this hymn would have to have been composed in the pre-Islamic era.

 

 

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