Baptism in the Early Church: History, Theology, and Liturgy in the First Five Centuries

By Everett Ferguson | Go to book overview

47. Baptism in the Messalian Controversy

Messalianism

The name “Messalians” is from the Syriac for “Those Who Pray” or “People of Prayer”; in Greek their name was “Euchites.” The persons involved represented more of a tendency than an organized sect. The movement began in northern Mesopotamia (North Syria) in ascetic circles in the late fourth century and spread to Asia Minor. The Messalians, according to their opponents in the orthodox church, taught an extreme asceticism and heightened spiritual experience. They held that only intense and ceaseless prayer could eliminate the passions by which demons held power over a person; hence, they did not work and lived on alms so as to devote themselves to prayer. Their opponents charged that their views denigrated the effects of baptism, for they said that the demon was chased away from a person by prayer and not by baptism.

The study of Messalianism has been complicated by uncertainty in the attribution of authorship to certain treatises and by the paucity of works supporting the Messalian practices. The Homilies attributed in the manuscript tradition to Macarius of Egypt or to Symeon of Mesopotamia (now designated PseudoMacarius) have been central to modern studies (see further below). These studies have brought some clarity and precision to what Messalianism meant in its historical context, but many points remain unclear.1

1. J. Gribomont, “Le Dossier des origines du Messalianisme,” in J. Fontaine and C. Kannengiesser, eds., Epektasis: Mélanges patristiques offerts au Cardinal Jean Daniélou (Paris: Beauchesne, 1972), pp. 611–625; Columba Stewart, “Working the Earth of the Heart”: The Messalian Controversy in History, Texts, and Language to ad 431 (Oxford: Clarendon, 1991); K. Fitschen, Messalianismus und Antimessalianismus (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1998); Marcus Plested, The Macarian Legacy: The Place of Macarius-Symeon in the Eastern Christian Tradition (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004). Brief introductions in English are by Andrew Louth, “Messalianism and Pelagianism,” Studia patristica 17.1 (1982): 127–135, and Paul Blowers, “The Bible and Spiritual Doctrine: Some Controversies within the Early Eastern Christian Ascetic Tradition,” in Paul Blowers, ed., The Bible in Greek Christian

-724-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Baptism in the Early Church: History, Theology, and Liturgy in the First Five Centuries
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 953

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.