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Montanism(mŏn`tənĭzəm), apocalyptic movement of the 2d cent. It arose in Phrygia (c.172) under the leadership of a certain Montanus and two female prophets, Prisca and Maximillia, whose entranced utterances were deemed oracles of the Holy Spirit. They had an immediate expectation of Judgment Day, and they encouraged ecstatic prophesying and strict asceticism. They believed that a Christian fallen from grace could never be redeemed, in opposition to the Catholic view that, since the sinner's contrition restored him to grace, the church must receive him again. Montanism antagonized the church because the sect claimed a superior authority arising from divine inspiration. Catholics were told that they should flee persecution, Montanists were told to seek it. When the Montanists began to set up a hierarchy of their own, the Catholic leaders, fearing to lose the cohesion essential to the survivial of persecuted Christianity, denounced the movement. TertullianTertullian
(Quintus Septimus Florens Tertullianus) , c.160–c.230, Roman theologian and Christian apologist, b. Carthage. He was the son of a centurion and was well educated, especially in law. Converted to Christianity c.
..... Click the link for more information. was a notable member of the movement, which died (c.220) as a sect, except in isolated areas of Phrygia, where it continued to the 7th cent. But the puristic anti-intellectual movement had many descendants—NovatianNovatian
, fl. 250, Roman priest, antipope (from 251), and theologian. He opposed the election of St. Cornelius as pope and set himself up instead. He gained followers throughout the empire because of his espousal of the idea that those fallen from grace by compromising their
..... Click the link for more information. , the Donatists (see DonatismDonatism
, schismatic movement among Christians of N Africa (fl. 4th cent.), led by Donatus, bishop of Casae Nigrae (fl. 313), and the theologian Donatus the Great or Donatus Magnus (d. 355).
..... Click the link for more information. ), the CathariCathari
[Gr.,=pure], name for members of the widespread dualistic religious movement of the Middle Ages. Carried from the Balkans to Western Europe, Catharism flourished in the 12th and 13th cent. as far north as England.
..... Click the link for more information. , and even Emanuel SwedenborgSwedenborg, Emanuel
, 1688–1772, Swedish scientist, religious teacher, and mystic. His religious system, sometimes called Swedenborgianism, is largely incorporated in the Church of the New Jerusalem, founded some years after his death.
..... Click the link for more information. and Edward IrvingIrving, Edward,
1792–1834, Scottish preacher, under whose influence the Catholic Apostolic Church was founded; its members have sometimes been called Irvingites. He was tutor to Jane Welsh, later the wife of Thomas Carlyle, and became the friend of Carlyle.
..... Click the link for more information. .
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2nd-century heretical Christian movement led by prophet Montanus. [Christian Hist.: EB, VI: 1012]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.