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A charismatic Christian sect which appeared in Phrygia in Asia Minor during the closing years of the second century. Montanism was founded by Montanus and his assistants, Priscilla and Maximilla, who considered themselves to be inspired by the Holy Spirit. Their "revelations" carried the adherents of the new sect to extreme and unorthodox claims. All members of the sect, clerical or lay, were encouraged to prophesy in the power of the Spirit. They made a new call for moral rigor in the face of the rampant immorality of the surrounding secular society. They proclaimed the imminent end of the world. The movement spread rapidly through the Christian world, but it disappeared in less than a century. Tertullian became a Montanist near the end of his life because of the moral rigor of its teaching. See Millenarianism. 

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians," Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.
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