Montanists


Also found in: Dictionary.
Related to Montanists: Tertullian, Paulicians, Donatists, Montanus, Marcionites, Novatians

Montanists

 

an early Christian sect, founded in Phrygia in the mid-second century and named after its founder, the priest Montanus. The sect spread to Asia Minor, Africa, Rome, Gaul, and the Balkans.

Following the traditions of the first Christian communities, the Montanists opposed the absolute authority of the bishops; their congregations were headed by “prophets” and “prophetesses.” The Montanists awaited the imminent second coming of Christ to the small town of Pepuza in Asia Minor and exhorted believers to renounce private property and mortify the flesh. These exhortations reflected a protest against the contemporary social order. Despite persecution by imperial authorities and the orthodox church, the Montanist sect survived up until the eighth century.

References in periodicals archive ?
One historian notes, "It is difficult to believe that the man who wrote the Apology is the same man who wrote On the Military Crown about fourteen years later, though the later document is a product of his Montanist [and thus, extremely sectarian] point of view.
Like the Montanist, an arrogant distinction was drawn between its superior members (The Elect) and the Outsiders (The Hearers).
The Montanists, moreover, called their movement the New Prophecy, since the Holy Spirit continues to give Christians new teachings.
It was a common semantic vocabulary used and reused by Pythagoreans, Christians, Platonists, montanists etc.
The Montanists of the second century, the movement of Cola di Rienzo in fourteenth-century Rome, the Anabaptist Kingdom of Muenster in the 1530s, the apocalyptic preoccupations of the Emperor Alexander I of Russia, the millennial visions of the Metis leader Louis Riel, and the twentieth-century People's Temple of Jim Jones and the Branch Davidians of Waco, Texas, and many more are described.
My favorite example of such a difference of opinion within the Christian tradition concerns the school of devotees in the early church called Montanists who believed that only by eating a steady diet of radishes could a person be saved.
PROPHETS AND GRAVESTONES: AN IMAGINATIVE HISTORY OF MONTANISTS AND OTHER EARLY CHRISTIANS.
Ironically, Montanists probably ordained women as priests and bishops, though there is no surviving evidence that this happened in North Africa.
In the Essay on Development Newman marveled at the Catholic Church's ability to borrow the good from pagan Gnostics and Platonists, heretical Montanists, Novatians, and Manichees and still remain pure.
The advent of Islam recreated for the Church a situation similar to that which it had faced earlier in the doctrinal debates of the third and fourth centuries with the Gnostics, Montanists, and other groups.
Similarly, the council of Laodicia required rebaptism for Montanists but chrismation for Novatianists or Quartodecimans.