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Montanist Reaction To Ecclesiastical Opposition Ca. 165–324 C.E

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Chapter Summary

The fierce opposition instigated by the clergy against Montanism shocked and surprised the New Prophets and their followers. The charges leveled against the New Prophecy seemed unfair and, at times, incomprehensible to the adherents of the New Prophecy. This chapter summarizes the primary ways in which Montanists reacted to the three main types of opposition they encountered: face-to-face confrontation (including attempted exorcism), ecclesiastical condemnation (including excommunication), and literary warfare. It then identifies and gives examples of the arguments which second and third-century 'Montanists' used to counter the arguments inherent in the accusations of their opponents. The responses to most of the anti-Montanist charges are also presented in a three-fold classification: pseudoprophecy, novelty, and heresy. The arguments presented by adherents of the New Prophecy, especially by Tertullian in support of the Montanist responses, frequently apply to more than one accusation or are predicated upon arguments established in countering other charges.

Keywords: ecclesiastical condemnation; ecclesiastical opposition; face-to-face confrontation; literary warfare; Montanist reaction; New Prophets; Tertullian



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