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Related to Catharism: Hussites, Waldensians


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 ?
The church's reaction to the distinctly non-procreative ethic of courtly love in medieval Europe and Catharism, a Christian sect that rejected the Catholic sacraments, including marriage, further hardened its insistence on the procreative purpose of sex.
This, in a nutshell, is the argument of Kelly's monograph, which dedicates a chapter to each of five heresies and their contexts: Montanism in the early church, Monophysitism in the age of the christological councils, Catharism in the Middle Ages, Modernism in late-19th- and early-20th-century Roman Catholicism, and analogous forms of Modernism in Protestantism.
They believed in the equality of men and women; women who converted to Catharism outnumbered men.
The introduction sets out a brief outline of Catharism and the response it initiated from the Church, emphasising the key nature of the murder of Peter of Castelnau as a trigger for the crusade.
104) But it was no doubt the soundness and attractiveness of Catharism that proved to be the factor in strengthening as never before the stereotypes and invectives of this ancient Patristic rhetoric.
This collection will be of interest to scholars of medieval Catharism as well as those who study early Christianity and Late Roman culture.
In the final, deliberately experimental chapter, Bradatan compares Berkeley's denial of the existence of matter with medieval dualistic heresies, in particular Catharism, in the belief that the comparison affords a better understanding of immaterialism.
Owner Peter has spent some time researching the history of the region where high culture, tolerance, liberalism and the faith of Catharism took root during the 12th and early 13th century.
His theological knowledge is evident as much in his moral tracts, through which he opposed the spread of Catharism, particularly common in Brescia, as it is in his sermons.
His point--well taken--is that most discussions of Catharism display an `intellectualist bias' which focuses on the thought behind Catharism at the expense of its social and practical context and roots.
Two other presumptive aspects of Catharism must be mentioned.