A doctrine deriving from a schism that occurred in Christian North Africa ca. 311 CE. The Donatists arose due to a disagreement over the election of Cæcilian as the Bishop of Carthage. The local bishops consecrated Donatus, a rival, for whom the sect is named.

Fourth century North African Christian faction, named for Bishop Donatus. The Donatists believed the church should be pure, and therefore church leaders who had handed over scripture during persecution (traditores) should not retain their positions. They were opposed most notably by Augustine, the prominent North African bishop. Augustine's influential doctrine of the church developed primarily in response to the Donatist controversy.

Article Info

Title Donatism
Last UpdatedJanuary 28, 2021
MLA Citation “Donatism.” 28 Jan. 2021. Web. Accessed 25 Feb. 2021. <>