Montanism in Roman North Africe: Concerning the problem of martyrdom reflection

Alexey Vital’evich Kargaltsev, senior lecturer, Theological Institute of the Evangelical  Lutheran Church of Ingria (der. Kolbino, 25a, Leningrad region, Vsevolozhsk district, Russia, 188680)

Kargaltsev A. V. Montanism in Roman North Africe: Concerning the problem of martyrdom reflection, Religiya. Tserkov’. Obshchestvo. Issledovaniya i publikatsii po teologii i religii [Religion. Church. Society: Research and publications in the field of theology and religious studies], Saint-Petersburg, 2012, vol. 1, pp. 116–132.

DOI: 10.24411/2308-0698-2012-00011

Language: Russian

The article is devoted to the study of heresy of Montanism on the material of the Roman North Africa. The author comes to the conclusion that it is impossible to talk about the New Prophecy as a single phenomenon. A specific feature of Montanism in Africa was the addition of the veneration of martyrdom, traditional for the Phrygians ascetic. It is in this context that the «Phrygian heresy» can be viewed as the basis of disciplinary heresies and schisms in Africa. The article attempts to clarify to what extent the specific regional features that distinguish it from the «Phrygian heresy» manifested themselves in African Montanism. The question of the connection of the New Prophecy with Christian rigorism, especially with its radical form – voluntary martyrdom, is explained. It is possible to speak about the broadcasting of the Montanist sermon, which is different for Africa from the Phrygian form, it was less ecstatic, and as a result was less condemned. Retaining their main features: the election of “people of the spirit”, strict monogamy, worship of the Spirit Comforter, a surge of eschatological expectations, the Montanists hardly stood out against the background of the orthodox Christians. The reason for this was the fact that the church in Carthage was still being formed. In Africa, the strict asceticism of the Phrygians underwent a kind of transformation, and was supplemented with a special veneration of martyrdom. It is the context in which appropriate to speak of Montanism as the basis of subsequent disciplinary heresies and schisms.

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Key words: Phrygian heresy, martyrdom, North Africa, early church, schism, Carthage, Montanism

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