As I shared on Facebook yesterday, an article I wrote for The Conversation about the Mandaeans has now been published. It is a real privilege to be able to study the texts and traditions of this fascinating community, and to count some of their number among my friends.
Mandaean Artist Yuhana Nashmi has brought together 100 stories in a new book that will launch later this month: 100 Souls 100 Stories 100 Tiles. I had the privilege of meeting Yuhana when I visited Australia in 2020 and, eager to own a copy of his book once it is available and always eager to help others discover the wonderfully fascinating living traditions and culture of the Mandaeans around the world, I asked him if he would be willing to answer some questions about the book. He graciously agreed, and I look forward to sharing it once his book is available outside Australia. In the meantime, I encourage you to visit his website and/or his Facebook page to see his work. There is an Arabic interview with Yuhana about the book that some of you will also be interested in. Here is an article about the book launch:
So much of the coverage is in Arabic but the book tells in English the stories and experiences of these communities that speak Arabic (and Farsi and in a few cases still Mandaic). So I sincerely hope there will soon be more coverage in English than there has been.
Let me also share a great video Yuhana has on YouTube that gives a close-up look at Mandaean baptism:
This post seems like a good place to share some links that are at least somewhat related, including ones about Christian baptism even though that is something very different than Mandaean baptism – which is one reason it is important to give Mandaean baptism due consideration as part of the investigation of the historical John the Baptist!
There are works about John the Baptist in the volumes of More New Testament Apocrypha, and so let me share this: “More New Testament Apocrypha? Yes, Please!”
I’m grateful to Shirley Paulson for including our edition of the Mandaean Book of John in her page of resources on her website.
The renowned Iraqi poet Lamia Abbas Amara died just recently. She was a Mandaean.
I suspect this parable represents a connection between John and Jesus:
From John Squires:
From Bob Cornwall: