Donatist

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • adj Donatist of or relating to Donatism
    • n Donatist an adherent of Donatism
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Donatist (Eccl. Hist) A follower of Donatus, the leader of a body of North African schismatics and purists, who greatly disturbed the church in the 4th century. They claimed to be the true church.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n Donatist One of an early Christian sect in Africa which originated in a dispute over the election of Cæecilian to the see of Carthage, a. d. 311, occasioned by his opposition to the extreme reverence paid to relics of martyrs and to the sufferers for the Christian faith called confessors, and the rivalry of Secundus, primate of Numidia. Secundus and the Numidian bishops declared Cecilian's consecration invalid because conferred by Felix of Aptunga, whom they charged with being a traditor. They excommunicated Cæcilian and his party, and made one Majorinus bishop in opposition. The name Donatist came either from Donatus of Casæ Nigræ, who headed the party of Majorinus at the Lateran Council in 313, where it was condemned, or (more probably) from Donatus “the Great,” who succeeded Majorinus in 315 and under whom the schism became fixed. Repressed under Constans, the Donatists revived under the favor of Julian the Apostate. Repressive measures, provoked by their frequent acts of fanatical violence, were resorted to from time to time. These measures, internal schisms, the conciliatory conduct of the orthodox clergy at a conference held at Carthage in 411, and the arguments of St. Augustine caused many to abandon Donatism, and the sect became insignificant, though not entirely extinct till the seventh century. The Donatist party held that it constituted the whole and only true church, and that the baptisms and ordinations of the orthodox clergy were invalid, because they were in communion with traditors. They therefore rebaptized and reordained converts from Catholicism. See Circumcellion, Maximianist, Primianist, Rogatist.
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
LL. Donatista,: cf. F. Donatiste,

Usage

In literature:

A fourth part of the Donatist bishops followed the independent standard of the Maximianists.
"The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Volume 2" by Edward Gibbon
Five hundred episcopal churches were overturned by the hostile fury of the Donatists, the Vandals, and the Moors.
"The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Volume 5" by Edward Gibbon
A fourth part of the Donatist bishops followed the independent standard of the Maximianists.
"The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Volume 2" by Edward Gibbon
The persecution of the Donatists was an event not less favorable to the designs of Genseric.
"The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Volume 3" by Edward Gibbon
Five hundred episcopal churches were overturned by the hostile fury of the Donatists, the Vandals, and the Moors.
"The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Volume 5" by Edward Gibbon
They are just as bad as their own Donatists.
"Hypatia" by Charles Kingsley
There was another class of Christians who provoked the controversial genius of Augustine, and these were the Donatists.
"Beacon Lights of History, Volume IV" by John Lord
Conference between Catholics and Donatists at Carthage, after which more severe laws are enacted against the latter.
"The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 4" by Various
Also he quotes a passage from St. Augustine in controversy with the Donatists to the same effect; viz.
"Apologia pro Vita Sua" by John Henry Newman
St. Augustine and the Donatists.
"My New Curate" by P.A. Sheehan
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In news:

Debate over whether former Communist informants can serve as ministers mirrors when Augustine took on the Donatists .
The New York Times columnist (not Catholic) chats online with his colleague Gail Collins (Catholic) about religion and politics and makes a very nifty reference to…the Donatists.
' So wrote St Augustine about the Donatists, a perfectionist North African sect that attempted to keep the church free of contamination by having no truck wit...
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