Definition of Donatist in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈdəʊnətɪst/


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.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: Donat|ist

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