Apocryphal themes and apocalyptic elements in Bogomil dualist theology and their implications for the study of Catharism
The purpose of the thesis is to establish the nature of the relationship between Bogomil dualist
teachings and medieval Slavonic and Byzantine apocryphal literature in view of the increasing
awareness that apocryphal works contributed important themes and imagery to Bogomil and,
subsequently, Cathar traditions.
The first chapter explores the character and the place of Bogomil monarchian and radical
dualism in the overall history and typology of religious dualism in the light of the interrelations
between earlier dualist trends and apocryphal traditions, which developed the diabological,
cosmo gonic and apocalyptic themes, revived later in Bogomilism and Catharism.
The second and third chapter investigate the relationship between Bogomilism and apocrypha
like 2 Enoch, 3 Baruch, and The Sea of Tiberi as in view of the theories that their medieval Slavonic
versions were edited in Bogomil circles and represent either earlier or later types of 'Bogomil
apocrypha'. Based on the most recent developments in research on the pseudepigrapha and
apocalypticism in early Judaism and Christianity, on their textual history and some unpublished
Slavonic manuscripts, the analysis of their historical and theological provenance shows that despite
the traces ofBogomil editing in some manuscripts, they cannot be defined as 'Bogomil apocrypha' ,
but served as principal sources for Bogomil dualist teachings.
The exploration of the parallels and interchange between Bogomil dualist teachings and
apocryphal traditions in the fourth chapter demonstrates the extent to which Bogomil diabology,
cosmogony, anthropogony, biblical history, Christology and apocalypticism adopted and reinterpreted
themes from apocryphal works such as 2 Enoch, 3 Baruch, The Apoca/ypse of Abraham,
The Vision of Isaiah, The Questions of Bartholomew, The Sea of Tiberias and the Apocryphal
Apocalypse of John.
In contrast to some earlier approaches to Bogomil dualist theology, discussed in the second
chapter, the demonstration of its wide-ranging use of earlier apocryphal and apocalyptic traditions
highlights the need to explore its formation and elaboration as an essential aspect and outcome of
the early development of Slavo-Byzantine Orthodox theology, culture and learning. The present
reconstruction of the relationship between apocryphal literature and Bogomilism has significant
implications for the study ofCatharism in several important areas: the perceived and actual links
between heresy and literacy in medieval Christianity in general; the Cathar adoption of the practice
of creating new elaborations, oral or written, of apocryphal traditions inherited from Bogomilism
and the related Bogomil and Cathar revivals and re-interpretations of notions and attitudes rediscovered
in the apocryphal works, dating from late antiquity, a process which rarely find parallels
in medieval heterodox and heretical traditions.