Donatism - Research Article from Shakespeare for Students

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DONATISM is the name given to the schism that divided the North African church from around at least 311 until the end of the sixth century. The immediate cause was the refusal of part of the clergy and congregations of Carthage, supported by bishops from Numidia, to accept the election of the archdeacon Caecilian as bishop of Carthage in succession to Mensurius. It was claimed that one of Caecilian's consecrators, Felix of Apthungi, had been a traditor (i.e., one who had handed the scriptures to the authorities during the Great Persecution of 303–305) and was therefore unworthy. It was also claimed that Caecilian had maltreated confessors in prison at Carthage by preventing food supplied by well-wishers from reaching them.

In the background of the schism, however, were important theological and nontheological issues. Since its emergence into history in 180, the North African church had been a church of martyrs. Its...

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This section contains 1,488 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Donatism Encyclopedia Article
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Donatism from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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