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Related to Donatism: Pelagianism, Montanism, Gnosticism, Arianism


 (dŏn′ə-tĭst, dō′nə-)
A member of a rigoristic, schismatic Christian sect, strongly opposed by Saint Augustine, that arose in North Africa in the fourth century ad and believed in sanctity as requisite for church membership and administration of all sacraments.

[Medieval Latin Donatista, after Donatus, fourth-century ad ecclesiastic and rival claimant of the bishopric of Carthage.]

Don′a·tism n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


a heretical cult in N. Africa during the 4th through 7th centuries that emphasized high morality and rebaptism as necessary for church mem-bership and considered invalid a sacrament celebrated by an immoral priest. — Donatist, n. — Donatistic, adj.
See also: Heresy
-Ologies & -Isms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.Donatism - a schismatic Christian religion in northern Africa from the 4th to the 7th century; held that only those who led a blameless life belonged in the church or could administer the sacraments
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
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Ross Douthat wrote in The New York Times that I was making a "terrible mistake." In another of the six columns on the subject of my exodus--all of them arguing against--a writer for The Federalist accused me of the heresy of Donatism. Reading it made me suspect that he was mostly excited to know what Donatism is.
Augustine wrote dozens of highly polemical works against intellectual currents such as Pelagianism and Donatism. "But what help is it to imagine that" the Roman gods failed, Lilla might ask, "as if civilizations pass through discrete periods defined by a single 'project'?"
On Donatism, see Spinks, Early and Medieval Rituals and Theologies of Baptism, 66-67.
Press, 1952]) tried to link together the lives of laypersons and clerics by arguing that the North African Christianities of Donatism and Catholicism were born from geographical location and political identity.
In chapter 2, Tilley aptly prepares readers for Donatism's theological vicissitudes.
Subordinationism, Arianism, which caused the murder of millions, Macedonianism, Nestorianism, Monophysitism, Monothelitism, Donatism, Pelagianism--all these in the first five hundred years of the Church.
Just as Augustine's early confrontations with Manichaeism (a dualist religion that believed the cosmos to emanate from two coequal principles of goodness and evil) left their mark on the Confessions, so did his post-conversion wranglings with Pelagianism (which denied original sin and man's need of divine grace for salvation) and Donatism (which tied the efficacy of the sacraments to the moral purity of their ministers) inform his mature writings.
Some examples include: Alcuin of York, Lombards, Donatism, Peasants, Salic Law, and more.
El obispo de Roma se nego a asistir y envio a dos legados, inaugurando una practica que ha perdurado hasta nuestros dias para situaciones similares, reservandose no obstante la decision final (Optato de Milevi, Contra Parmenianum donatistam, 1, 23-24), vease Timothy David BARNES, The Beginnings of Donatism, en Journal of Theological Studies, 26 (1975), pp.
Ancient heresies also attempted to establish an elite class within the church, whether by virtue of a presumed "purity" (donatism) or a special knowledge and spiritual status (gnosticism).
(85) Donatism was a heresy prominent in North Africa in the fourth and fifth centuries.
Finally, well-known controversies, Pelagianism and Donatism, for example, also appear in these pages, their debates about boundaries closely keyed to Augustine's perceptions of pride and the soul's debility.