from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A member of a rigoristic, schismatic Christian sect, strongly opposed by Saint Augustine, that arose in North Africa in the fourth century A.D. and believed in sanctity as requisite for church membership and administration of all sacraments.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. One of a group of Christians in fourth-century North Africa who broke away as a group after opposing the appointment of Caecilianus as Bishop of Carthage, and who disputed the validity of baptisms performed by others.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. 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.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. 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.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- adj. of or relating to Donatism
- n. an adherent of Donatism
She is a Donatist from the third or fourth century, and regards the surviving Church as a mass of corruption and error.
It was debated in the 4th and 5th centuries in the context of what is known as the Donatist controversy.
He says that calling someone a "Donatist" or a "gnostic" doesn't engage the issues at stake and doesn't win arguments.
In modern parlance, a 'Donatist' is someone who refuses to empty the Sacraments of doctrinal content.
At the time of the Pelagian controversy, Augustine was already successful in defending orthodoxy and having the Donatist and Manichean sects declared heresies.
Although Pelagius was not a Donatist, Augustine and others felt that his ideas of salvation might lead the church in a Donatist direction because clergy would be judged by their ability to be free of sin.
For a similar reason, the Donatist heresy was rejected.
President Obama could learn a lesson from the Donatist heretics in how to handle government officials who were involved in the torture of detainees.
We start briefly with the Donatist schism, which was basically political; and then we have a prolonged and detailed discourse on Platonism and the doctrine of the Trinity, which I must say explained both in more lucid and provocative terms than I recall reading anywhere else.
Donatist schism in North Africa: rigorists oppose lenience toward those who lapsed under persecution; by 347, Christian vs. Christian persecution resulting in martyrs; schism persists until destruction of North African church by Saracens in AD 700. 318.