In the centuries to follow, Christian civilization faced many challenges--barbarian invasions, socioeconomic collapse, schisms, the rise of Islam, and periodic waves of heresy like the Paulicians and the Bogomils
, but never again was it to suffer an existential threat.
Significantly, this volume has the least to say about heretics and dissidents of any stripe, with even the Bogomils
and other Dualists receiving short shrift.
As a result, Orchard and Graves uncritically interchanged "Baptists" with a host of disparate dissenting groups including Montanists, Novationists, Paulicians, Bogomils
, Albigensians, Waldensians, Lollards, Hussites, and Anabaptists.
The earliest use of the term, continues McClelland, has been linked with a heretical Bulgarian Gnostic sect known as the Bogomils
, "whose dualistic beliefs challenged Orthodox Christianity from the tenth through the fourteenth centuries" (42-43).
Chapters discuss the remnants of the Bogomil
movement in the English Language (including the linguistic history of the word "bugger"), the heresy's views of women, John Wycliffe and the Dualists, Bogomil
-Cathar imagery and theology in "The Vision of Piers Plowman", the spiritual kinship between "Paradise Lost" and the secret book of the Bogomils
, and more.
Finally, in the pre-Constantine period, a bridge between Gnosticism and such later movements as the Bogomils
and Albigensians, there was Manicheanism, one of the last Eastern movements to permeate the West.
His interest in Bogomils
and Cathars (see "Bogumil" and "Albi, A Day Trip" in High West Rendezvous) suggests a political gnosticism that posits freedom in the form of the negative image of what is.
Were they connected with allegedly heretical, ostensibly dualist phenomena in Balkan Christendom--the Bulgarian Bogomils
and the mysterious Bosnian Church?
finds it necessary to discriminate carefully between non-Cathars on the one hand and Bogomils
and Cathars on the other.
Others have found in the underground heresies of Medieval Europe, especially the Paulicians and the Bogomils
, lineal successors to Mithraism and the other mystery cults.
Against scholars arguing for direct genetic connections between Manichees, Bogomils
, and Cathars, they cite the dearth of documentary evidence for such a filiation, noting that dualism entered the Balkans and western Europe in multiple ways; when the Bogomil
bishop Nicetas arrived in Languedoc in 1167, he found a Cathar church already established.