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n. pl. Cath·a·ri (-ə-rī′) or Cath·ars
A member of a Christian sect flourishing in western Europe in the 1100s and 1200s, whose dualistic belief, embracing asceticism and identifying the world as the creation of a satanic Demiurge, was condemned by the Church as heretical.

[French Cathare, from sing. of Medieval Latin Catharī, from Late Greek Katharoi, from pl. of Greek katharos, pure.]

Cath′ar adj.
Cath′a·rism n.
Cath′a·rist adj. & n.


the beliefs of several sects in medieval Europe, especially the denial of infant baptism, purgatory, the communion of saints, images, and the doctrine of the Trinity; the abrogation of the institution of marriage; and the practice of rigorous asceticism. — Cathar, Cathari, Catharist, n. — Catharistic, adj.
See also: Heresy
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.Catharism - a Christian movement considered to be a medieval descendant of Manichaeism in southern France in the 12th and 13th centuries; characterized by dualism (asserted the coexistence of two mutually opposed principles, one good and one evil); was exterminated for heresy during the Inquisition
heresy, unorthodoxy - a belief that rejects the orthodox tenets of a religion
Christian religion, Christianity - a monotheistic system of beliefs and practices based on the Old Testament and the teachings of Jesus as embodied in the New Testament and emphasizing the role of Jesus as savior
References in periodicals archive ?
Contract notice: works of extension, renewal, repair of wastewater treatment networks - rainwater on the territory of the urban community of albigeois
Chapitre 21: L'heresie des Albigeois est longuement decrite par Cesaire de Heisterbach (12), qui rappelle ses liens avec les Manicheens antiques dont les croyances reposent sur un dualisme absolu et avec les erreurs d'Origene dans son Periarchon.
TUCOO-CHALA, Quand l'Islam etait aux portes des Pyrenees: De Gaston IV le Croise a la croisade des Albigeois (xie-xiiie siecles), Biarritz, 1994, p.
SCHMIDT, CHARLES (1849) Histoire et doctrine de la secte des cathares ou albigeois.
McCaffrey's latter article also contains critiques of Pierre Belperron's La croisade contre les Albigeois et l'union du Languedoc a la France, 1209-1249 (Paris: Pion, 1942).
2) The Cathars are also called Albigeois or Albigenses because early attempts to crush the heresy took place near Albi in the 1160s.
and hence is under-appreciated by Americans, so it's worth noting that these specimens from the Mine du Burg (or Burc--as it's sometimes written, in imitation of a local dialect), in the Albigeois fluorite-mining district, Department of Tarn, south-central France, are quite attractive.
This complaint had little effect, for according to a decision of the royal council in 1788 in favor of the peasants of St-Michel-de-Vax, a community in the Albigeois,
Le Massacre de Beziers (22 juillet 1209) et la croisade contre les Albigeois vus par Cesaire de Heisterbach (Portet-sur-Garonne, France, 1994), 99-100.
See Fernan Niel, Albigeois et Cathares (Que sais-je?