W. H. C. Frend

in The Donatist Church

Published in print November 1985 | ISBN: 9780198264088
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191682704 | DOI:

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In Africa, Christianity was an episode in the religious history of the Berbers that lasted some 400 years. Its victory was associated with the rise in the latter part of the third century A.D. of settled farming communities that occupied the inland plains. But within this framework two contradictory interpretations of the Christian message took root. The germs of Catholicism and Dissent, the authority of an institution as against the authority of the Bible or of personal inspiration, existed from the earliest moments of the Christian Church. In some parts of the Mediterranean, Christian dissent may have prepared the way for Islam. In the end neither the Donatists nor the Catholics prevailed, and Islam entered into the African heritage with no opposition of strength equivalent to that of the Monophysite Church in Egypt. Donatism was not merely a schism; it was part of a revolution.

Keywords: Catholicism; Dissent; Donatism; Greco-Roman; Africa; Islam

Chapter.  1412 words. 

Subjects: History of Christianity

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