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The Montanist milieu: history and historiography in the study of Montanism
thesisposted on 2022-03-28, 18:05 authored by Bernard Gerard Frances Doherty
The second century religious movement known to most historians as Montanism has attracted attention from historians of the early Church and historians of religion more generally since antiquity and since the Renaissance has been a topic of many speculations and theories. Unlike its contemporary 'Gnosticism,' with its abundance of literary sources and startling discoveries, the assessment of Montanism has been largely confined to a fixed catena of literary sources. However, since the nineteenth century epigraphic remains attesting the movement have come to light and an increasing amount of historical and archaeological data concerning the areas of rural Anatolia where Montanism thrived has come to light. Concurrently with this has been the great strides made in the research into indigenous religious movements and the interaction of religion and society across cultures. This study seeks to look anew at a series of historical theories proposed about Montanism and to assess their veracity in light of an eclectic historical and methodological approach. It is the major conjecture of this study that Montanism cannot be understood as a reified theological entity, but rather as a socio-religious phenomena inseparable from its socio-cultural surroundings.