Novatian


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Related to Novatian: Gregory of Nazianzus, Tertullian, Montanus

Novatian

(nōvā`shən), 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 Christianity during the Decian persecution (250) were barred from the church forever. At the instigation of St. Cyprian of Carthage, who was himself quite strict on readmission to the church, virtually the whole church recognized Cornelius and repudiated Novatian and his followers, who maintained their own hierarchy for two or three centuries. After 325 the sect was merged with that of 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).
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. Novatian's chief work, On the Trinity, which was written as a refutation of the Gnostics, the Theodotians, and the Sabellians, was later regarded as an orthodox expression of ante-Nicene doctrine, except for the last chapter, which anticipated Arianism.
References in periodicals archive ?
During the interregnum, the Roman church was governed by a council of elders, as it had been throughout the first century of its existence, with the presbyter Novatian acting as its leader and spokesman.
This initial agreement between Novatian and Tertullian regarding divine passibility, and their subsequent disagreement regarding the metaphysical basis underlying this point, is enlightening in relation to Milton's statement in De Doctrina that "God in his most simple nature is a SPIRIT " (CPW 6:140).
It is interesting, for instance, to see how the schism of the Church at Antioch under Meletius and Paulinus was solved or how the First Council of Nicea invited the Novatians to be reunited to their local catholic Church.
The Novatians, who disagreed with Cyprian, precipitated a schism over this issue, introducing the challenge of how to receive Christians who were baptized by heretical or schismatic bishops.
Novatian himself was martyred during the next persecution, by Valerian (257-258).
45) Thus, when Novatian engineered to have himself ordained as a rival bishop in Rome to Cornelius, Cyprian was able to write that, once a bishop had been appointed for a church, it was not possible (while he was the legitimate bishop) for another to be created in his place.
That unworthy persons attempted by various means to secure episcopal office is well recorded in the conflict between Cornelius and Novatian in Rome.
Novatian and his followers are rebuked because in denying the possibility of forgiveness they ignore the example of the mercy of Jesus who desires mercy rather than sacrifice and forgives sins until seventy times seven.
Theodoret reported several sources that required chrismation of Novatians.
155) Constantine berates the Novatians, Valentinians, Cataphrygians, and the rest: You gather, he writes, "not only in public but also in houses of individuals or any private places" to pursue "superstitious folly.
Ward, to whom he wrote in 1867 that "you are making a Church within a Church, as the Novatians of the old did within the Catholic pale, and as, outside the Catholic pale, the Evangelicals of the Establishment.
The council of Nicea (325) dealt in a different way with the followers of Paul of Samosata than with Novatians or Meletians.