Montanism

(redirected from Montanist)
Also found in: Dictionary, Wikipedia.
Related to Montanist: Donatism, Monarchianism, Montanus

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.
.

Montanism

2nd-century heretical Christian movement led by prophet Montanus. [Christian Hist.: EB, VI: 1012]
References in periodicals archive ?
Despite its manifest nonsenses, and swift condemnation by Pope Zephyrinus, scatterings of Montanists are attested down to the ninth century.
Theodotus' rejection of this was part of his reaction against the entire gospel of John, the gospel most favored by the Montanist sect (of which Tertullian was a member) which felt itself to be "the inauguration of the dispensation of the Spirit"(7) promised in the forth gospel.
The continuing influence of the pagan cult is illustrated by the resemblance between the practices of the devotees of Cybele in Asia Minor and those of the Christian Montanist sect which saw the light in the same region towards the end of the second century.
Emerging from the remote heartlands of Asia Minor in the mid-second century, Montanist adherents exhibited ecstatic experience - dreams, prophetic utterances - with tendencies to separate themselves from the formal churches of the region.
Despite some problems (e.g., Tertullian as a "defector" to a Montanist church [8, 169] rather than as a sympathizer of the "New Prophecy" movement), the material in the three sections makes the book useful for beginning master's students, as do the bibliographical references to primary texts in translation.
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." (26) In the Apology, for example, Tertullian had acknowledged the necessity of war and claimed that Christians even contributed by praying for brave armies, for a faithful Senate, for the peace of the world, and for peace within the Empire, acknowledging the need to defend territorial borders against invading barbarians.
Laura Nasrallah examines how references to ecstatic prophecy and accusations of irrationality played a role in certain key disputes regarding the nature of authority in early Christianity, specifically those surrounding the so-called Montanist controversy.
The moral tracts, on such subjects as Baptism, Modesty, and Penitence, spread over his literary career, become more rigid under the Montanist teachings which (e.g.) frowned upon infant baptism and proscribed military service and second marriages.
He probably never broke formally with the `Great Church', ever more critical though he became of its `psychic' or mediocre majority as his Montanist predilections grew stronger.
When the apostolic sequence is reversed, the church becomes pneumatocentric - the Montanist error, which has historically meant that the church was driven dizzy in a thousand "spiritual" directions at once.