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Ecclesiastical Opponents Of Montanism Ca. 324–550 C.E

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Chapter Summary

From the middle of the fourth century onward, references to Montanism in anti-heretical and other Christian literature proliferated. Freed from external threat by imperial authorities, catholic writers of the fourth and subsequent centuries turned to countering what they believed to be the internal threat to the purity of the faith coming from 'sects' such as the Montanists. They devoted their talents to the task of defining doctrine and rooting out anything that appeared to them to be heresy. This chapter identifies the Christian heresiologists, church historians, bishops, other clergy, and laypersons who opposed what was now increasingly called the 'heresy of the Phrygians' or the 'Cataphrygian heresy'. It also analyzes the nature, extent, and effect of the ecclesiastical opposition to the movement under the new conditions which enabled church leaders to turn from the defense of the church against 'pagans' to concentrate on 'anti-heretical' activities.

Keywords: anti-heretical activities; bishops; Cataphrygian heresy; catholic writers; Christian heresiologists; ecclesiastical opposition; fourth century; laypersons; Montanism; Phrygians

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