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The Donatist ChurchA Movement of Protest in Roman North Africa$
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W. H. C. Frend

Print publication date: 1985

Print ISBN-13: 9780198264088

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198264088.001.0001

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Two Cities…Two Churches

Two Cities…Two Churches

(p.315) XX Two Cities…Two Churches
The Donatist Church

W. H. C. Frend

Oxford University Press

The Donatists and Catholics remained divided from each other until both were swept away by Islam. The questions that separated them were those of will and outlook, not doctrine and philosophy. It was the nature of the Church as a society and its relationship to the world rather than its distinctive beliefs that formed the heart of the controversy. To contemporaries, the two Churches seemed to stand in relation to each other as two rival societies inspired by contrary wills; an illustration of the everlasting clash between the ‘Church of Judas’ and the ‘Church of Peter’. The issues were not those of ‘truth’ versus ‘heresy’, but of two opposed attitudes to society, attitudes that have persisted throughout the history of the Christian Church down to the present day.

Keywords:   Donatist, Catholic, Islam, Christian Church, rival society

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