Share this entry
Donatist Line breaks: Donat|ist
Pronunciation: /ˈdəʊnətɪst/

Definition of Donatist in English:


A member of a schismatic Christian group in North Africa, formed in 311, who held that only those living a blameless life belonged in the Church. They survived until the 7th century.
Example sentences
  • Not far from his mind was his battle with the schismatic Donatists, whose vision of a pure Church led them to cut themselves off from the sometimes faithless impurity of others who claimed the name Christian.
  • Moreover, the Donatists included many Christians of honest and good heart, among whom he felt sure that God numbered some of his elect.
  • Also included are biographical essays on individuals and social groups of Augustine's time, from the schismatic Donatists to the Manichees, of whom Augustine himself had been a member, to the Pelagians with whom he battled.


Example sentences
  • Has the man never heard of Augustine's answer to Donatism?
  • He illustrates this clash with a thoughtful review of the reform movements, beginning with fourth-century Donatism, that challenged institutional Christianity.
  • I haven't heard any stories of mass conversions of Catholic parishes to Judaism or Donatism, but who knows what will happen.


From Donatus (died circa355), a Christian prelate in Carthage and the group's leader, + -ist.

Definition of Donatist in:
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources