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Montanus (c.85–c.170)

  1. Scott Culpepper

Published Online: 25 NOV 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470670606.wbecc0930

The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization

How to Cite

Culpepper, S. 2011. Montanus (c.85–c.170). The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 25 NOV 2011


Montanus was the founder of a movement called Montanism or the “New Prophecy” which emerged in the mid 2nd century as a challenge to the authority of the Apostolic tradition of the mainstream church. Montanus and his followers embraced an ecstatic spiritual expression that included visionary trances, continuing revelation, eschatological fascination, and a strict code of ethical conduct. His associates, Priscilla and Maximilla, also raised questions concerning the proper role of women in ministry and church leadership. While the movement was eventually ruled heretical by the mainstream church, its status in relation to orthodox belief was not immediately defined. The most celebrated student of the “New Prophecy” was the North African theologian and apologist Tertullian, though the scholarly consensus today is that Tertullian did not become a Montanist himself.


  • montanus (c.85–c.170);
  • founder of a movement, montanism or the “new prophecy”;
  • ecstatic spiritual expression;
  • eschatological expectations, of its adherents;
  • inner workings and beliefs of the montanist sect