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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.


(ˈkæθə) or


n, pl -ars, -ari (-ərɪ) or -arists
(Christian Churches, other) a member of a Christian sect in Provence in the 12th and 13th centuries who believed the material world was evil and only the spiritual was good
[from Medieval Latin Cathari, from Greek katharoi the pure]
ˈCatharˌism n
References in periodicals archive ?
Thus, by a kind of intellectual sleight of hand, it becomes possible to blame the Jews not only for the Catharists but also for their inquisitors.
Instead, he tells us that it is "likely" that the intellectual roots of the Catharist heresy lie in "Jewish neo-Gnosticism, the early phase of Cabalism in southern France." Thus, the Jews are really to blame for the Albigensians, and at least partly got what they deserved.