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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.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.Cathars - a Christian religious sect in southern France in the 12th and 13th centuries; believers in Albigensianism
religious order, religious sect, sect - a subdivision of a larger religious group
References in periodicals archive ?
The author sees no Bogomil or Italian dualist influence on Cathars in southern France, or at least those in the Lauragais.
These findings are significant in proving that the Cathars were intimately engaged in city affairs even though they did not hold to Catholic orthodoxy.
The fortification was one of the main refuges for the Cathars, a strict religious group which split from the Roman Catholic church and was hounded to death in the Albigensian Crusade in1208 led by the cruel Simon de Montfort and later the King of France who were from northern France.
Like Sepulchre, The Winter Ghosts is set in rural south-west France and also deals with issues of belief and heresy, notably with links to the medieval Christian sect the Cathars.
Heretic Lives: Medieval Heresy from Bogomil and the Cathars to Wyclif and Hus.
Eleanor (1122-1204) remains one of the most compelling figures of the Middle Ages, sitting at the intersection of the troubadours, the Cathars, romantic love, the Arthurian legend, and Breton and Provencal nationality.
From possible alchemical secrets of Mary Magdalene's annointing oil, to the connections that Gnostics and Cathars held to her, to her parallel role to that of ancient goddesses such as Ishtar and Isis, extraterrestrial presence and influence in the Bible and Gnostic texts, how the Knights Templar wrote secret teachings of Jesus and Mary in religious graffiti at Domme, France and much more.
Some claim that the Cathars, a Christian group founded in the 10th century, were an influence on Brown's book.
Against scholars arguing for direct genetic connections between Manichees, Bogomils, and Cathars, they cite the dearth of documentary evidence for such a filiation, noting that dualism entered the Balkans and western Europe in multiple ways; when the Bogomil bishop Nicetas arrived in Languedoc in 1167, he found a Cathar church already established.
His overall discussion of the question of confession among Cathars and Waldensians, as well as the orthodox Church's struggle against them, comprises the most illuminating section of the book.
History Lectures "Tracking the Mysteries'' with Andrew Linnell, discussing the Cathars, Rosicrucians and European mystics, mysteries from the founding of America, Freemasonry and mysteries of the future, 6:30 p.
Among his topics are the sexual life and teachings of Jesus, sexual pleasure in Judaism, the victory of monasticism, the Cathars, the sexuality of Teresa of Avila, The Reformation as sexual revolution, and sexual disarray in the late 20th century.