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A 2nd- and 3rd-cent. theological movement. Its adherents, in their attempts to safeguard monotheism and the unity (‘monarchy’) of the Godhead, failed to do justice to the independent subsistence of the Son. There were two groups. The ‘Adoptionist’ Monarchians held that Jesus was God only in the sense that a power or influence from the Father rested upon His human person. The ‘Modalist’ Monarchians held that in the Godhead the only differentiation was a succession of modes or operations; they were also called ‘Patripassians’, as their doctrine implied that the Father suffered as the Son.

Subjects: Christianity.

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