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A Conflict on Authority in the Early African Church

Augustine of Hippo and the Donatists

by Steven Paas

The ancient Church of the North African province of the Roman Empire still captures the imagination of many modern people, who marvel its rapid growth, and are curious about the schisms and divisions within in that led to its almost complete eradication. The present Church in Sub-Saharan Africa differs in many aspects from the North African Church. But the central questions that divided the early Church – of authority and moral behaviour of the leaders – are still dividing the churches all over the world, not least in Africa. The Donatists of the ancient church believed that the church depended unequivocally on the moral qualities of its officer bearers. In relation to the Church in Africa, this study compares the Donatists’ views to the opinions of the church fathers, particularly Augustine, on holiness, authority and catholicity.

ISBN 9789990876345 | 72 pages | 216 x 140 mm | 2005 | Kachere Series, Malawi | Paperback




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