When discussing theology, I've come to realize that not only is personal study of doctrine a necessary component to faith, but it is something that shouldn't be kept to oneself. I want to share my journey, both past and ongoing, into the realm of theology. Through this, I hope that you will gain insight into the Christian faith as a whole. Before reading anything else, I suggest you read the introduction and definitions (found in the pages tabs above) so you may better understand where I am coming from in everything I write. Because many of my posts are on heresies, there is also a page above with a family tree of heresies and links to all the posts I have so far on the topic.

13 November, 2012

Heresy of the Week: Circumcellionism

I was planning on doing another heresy this week, but the research is taking too long, so hopefully I'll have that one ready for next week.  In the meanwhile, I present Circumcellionism, a rather odd sub-Donatism heresy.  

Briefly, Donatism (which I shall further explain at a later time) was a sect of North African heretics in the 4th and 5th centuries who focused on asceticism, martyrdom, and "purity" in the church (that the church must be one of saints, not sinners).

Circumcellionism (also known as Agnosticisism) was a band of heretical Christian extremists in North Africa in the 4th and 5th centuries. While initially concerned with remedying social grievances (such as condemning property ownership and slavery, and advocating the cancelling of all debts), they became obsessed with the “true Christian virtue” of martyrdom. Because of Jesus’ warning to Peter in the Garden of Gethsemane to put down his sword, they never used bladed weapons, often opting for blunt clubs. They would randomly attack passersby in an attempt to provoke the victim to retaliate and kill them. Sometimes they would interrupt courts of law and provoke the judge to order an immediate execution (the usual punishment for contempt of court at the time). Circumcellionism was connected with the Donatism heresy.

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