MONTANISM

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MONTANISM – The name of a was a heretical movement that originated about 156 and was named after its founder Montanus.  The beliefs of Montanism contrasted with Orthodox Christianity in the following ways:
  • The belief that the prophecies of the Montanists superseded and fulfilled the doctrines proclaimed by the Apostles.
  • The encouragement of ecstatic prophesying, contrasting with the more sober and disciplined approach to theology dominant in Orthodox Christianity at the time and since.
  • The view that Christians who fell from grace could not be redeemed, in contrast to the Orthodox Christian view that contrition could lead to a sinner's restoration to the church.
  • The prophets of Montanism did not speak as messengers of God: "Thus saith the Lord," but rather described themselves as possessed by God, and spoke in his person. "I am the Father, the Word, and the Paraclete," said Montanus (Didymus, De Trinitate, III, xli); This possession by a spirit, which spoke while the prophet was incapable of resisting, is described by the spirit of Montanus: "Behold the man is like a lyre, and I art like the plectrum. The man sleeps, and I am awake" (Epiphanius, "Panarion", xlviii, 4).
  • A stronger emphasis on the avoidance of sin and on church discipline than in Orthodox Christianity. They emphasized chastity, including forbidding remarriage.
  • Some of the Montanists were also "Quartodeciman" ("fourteeners"), adhering to the celebration of Pascha on the Hebrew calendar date of 14 Nisan, regardless of what day of the week it landed on. The Orthodox held that Pascha should be commemorated on the Sunday following 14 Nisan. (Trevett 1996:202)

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