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Any of several Christian doctrines of the second and third centuries ad that attempted to maintain monotheism and the unity of the Godhead, thereby denying the independent hypostasis of God the Son. Monarchianism was condemned as heretical by the Christian church in the fourth century.

[From Latin Monarchiānī, the Monarchians, from monarchia, monarchy; see monarchy.]

Mo·nar′chi·an 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.


(məˈnɑr ki əˌnɪz əm)

any of several Christian doctrines in the 2nd and 3rd centuries A.D., emphasizing the unity of God.
[1835–45; Monarchian (< Late Latin monarchiānus; see monarchy, -an1) + -ism]
Mo•nar′chi•an, adj., n.
Mo•nar′chi•an•ist, n.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


a 2nd- and 3rd-century Christian doctrine that maintained that God is a single person as well as a single being. — monarchian, adj.
See also: Christianity
-Ologies & -Isms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Marxist ideology has its roots in a modern version of the ancient heresy of Monarchianism as interpreted by Hegel and Schelling; following Erik Peterson, Ratzinger draws attention to the fact that, like its modern counterpart, Monarchianism in the fourth century also gave rise to what is alien to Christianity, namely a political theology (cf.
Justin exploited this argument for his anti-Jewish and antidualistic polemical needs, just as a few decades later Tertullian and Hippolytus of Rome reused this argument against monarchianism.
He suggests that contemporary hermeneutics could interpret trinitarian doctrine as a series of roles played by God--thereby affirming modalistic monarchianism, which trinitarian thought explicitly repudiated.
Above all, the presentation would have benefited from a global, rethinking of the complex and problematical notion of Monarchianism, which appears only in a footnote on page 138.
But even in its officially sanctioned forms, the trinitarianism of the classical tradition ruled out as plainly heretical the docetism, monarchianism and monophysitism that would have justified any such bald statement of Christ's divinity as the slogan "Jesus is God".
Modalistic monarchianism was a widely accepted solution to this problem.(1) Hippolytus' Refutatio omnium haeresium (Ref.)(2) is a major source for our knowledge of this theology and the disputes related to it, and in the case of Callistus, it is our only source.
This heresy has a third name, Monarchianism, sometimes called Modalistic, Monarchianism, because it asserts the unity of God.
In the "trinitarian" chapter, on Against Praxeas, A.'s analysis displays how Tertullian does a more-than-adequate job in arguing for a distinction among Father, Son, and Spirit without abandoning his own "moderate" or "ordered" monarchianism, defending him against "the common prejudice ...
Homoousios was used in the third century as a technical term of the identification-theology (that is, Christ and the Father are one and the same God) only by a small group of bishops of the Libyan Pentapolis, or members of the Church of Alexandria, who manifested a distinct inclination towards a kind of Sabellian monarchianism. The conflict between them and the bishop of Alexandria reflected the radical clash of two opposite Christological patterns.