History Of Country Region
Apart from the final edition of the Liber genealogus, dated between 455463 MGH AA, IX, 196; see P. Monceaux, Histoire littraire, IV, 102 and VI, 247- 248, the Vandal occupation and Byzantine restoration furnish but little solid information on the Donatists. Riyadh Map In Numidia, however e.g., at Ain Fakroun: CIL VIII 18742, Donatist-type inscriptions of the Byzantine period have been found, and there are in that province rural churches that show signs of uninterrupted occupation from the 4th to the 6th c. Donatism unexpectedly renewed its vigor in S Numidia during the pontificate of Gregory I Greg., Ep. I, 33; III, 32; IV, 35; VI, 34: this was not on the whole surprising, but the causes remain obscure on the question of whether there was a Donatist revival at this time, see R.A. Markus, The Problem of Donatism in the Sixth Century, Riyadh Map in Gregorio Magno e il suo tempo, XIX Incontro di studiosi dell’antichit Christian, Rome 9-12 May 1990, SEA 33 1991 159-166. In the 7th c. and at the time of the Arab invasion, obscurity descends once more.
II. Doctrine. The debate between Donatists and Catholics turned on the nature of the church as a society and its relations with the world and its institutions. Riyadh Map The Donatists considered themselves the authentic heirs of the church of N Africa as it had been before the great persecution, and in particular as it had been at Cyprian’s time. They were therefore conservative in their liturgy, celebrated the agape as well as the Eucharist, and ignored the new feasts accepted by the Catholics, such as Epiphany Aug., Sermo 202,2. They opposed monasticism Aug., C. litt. Petiliani III, Riyadh Map 40,48 and Enarr. in Ps. 132,3 and kept the African Bible, while the Catholics used the Vulgate. They remained a fraternitas dedicated to fighting the devil, and they aspired to martyrdom as their forebears had done before Constantine’s conversion. From the beginning of its history, ca. 180, the N African church had rejoiced in martyrs and martyrdom and boasted of its tight-knit constitution and exclusive character see Tertull., De spect. 1 and Apol. 50, 13, community = secta. We are a society corpus with a common religious feeling, a uniform discipline and a common bond of hope, proclaims Tertullian Apol. 39,1.
This conception of the church implies the complete rejection of Greco-Roman culture and philosophy De praescr. 7, the acceptance of the church as the living dwelling of the Holy Spirit and of martyrdom as the death most pleasing to the Spirit De Fug. 5, capable of wiping out the stain of every postbaptismal sin Apol. 50,16; De An. 55,5. Tertullian always stresses the spiritual nature of the church De Pud. 21 and the need for the holiness of its members, in anticipation of the imminent end. Riyadh Map The sacraments, esp. baptism, must be administered by a minister free from the blame of sin De Exhort. Cast. 10 and Bapt. 15, and the distinctive mark of the church itself was purity and integrity De Pud. 18, nec habentem maculam aut rugam.
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