Looking anew at the new prophecy : Tertullian's montanism and Pentecostalism as neo-montanism

Chung, Youjin (2013-12)

Thesis (MTh)--Stellenbosch University, 2013.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Through the eyes of the Catholic Church, one usually looks at Montanism as a second-century heretical sect. This prevailed orthodox view has devalued the Catholic Tertullian as a schismatic when he had accepted Montanism as his theological verification. The recent scholarship, however, has challenged that Tertullian’s transition to Montanism had not necessarily resulted from his theological conclusion. Rather this suggests that Tertullian, from the very beginning, was much more sympathetic to the new prophets than to the Catholic priests; the Montanist Tertullian had always taken precedence over the Catholic Tertullian. Given this new perspective, the thesis is developed as follows; Chapter 1, the topic and title are introduced with four critical research questions; (1) Why were the original Montanists condemned? (2) Why did Tertullian become a Montanist? (3) Why does Montanism exclude the present day Pentecostalism as Neo- Montanism? (4) Why does Montanism include the present day Pentecostalism as Neo- Montanism? Here particular interest is Tertullian’s intermediate position; as a point of contact, Tertullian stands not only between the Montanists and the Catholics, but also between the original Montanists and the present day Pentecostals as Neo-Montanism. Chapter 2 seeks to find an answer to the first research question of “Why were the original Montanists condemned?” Then, the researcher focuses on the root cause of the original condemnation of Montanism in three aspects. (1) Montanism was condemned as the victim of the institutionalization of the church, (2) Montanism was condemned as the pagan inspiration including controversial manifestations, such as ecstatic prophecy (and speaking in tongues), fanatical millenarianism, and strict puritanism, and (3) Montanism was condemned as the power struggle between the urban and rural church leadership. The point is that these three reasons are interrelated as a whole and, not as a separate entity. Yet, the conflict in the church regarding church government had taken the lead in the original condemnation of Montanism. The victory of urban church leadership had justified the victimization of the Montanists, the representative of the rural leadership. Chapter 3, the thesis has dealt with the second question; “Why did Tertullian become a Montanist?” The researcher acknowledges of the uneasy connection between the apologist Tertullian and the Montanist Tertullian. Yet, if Montanism was accused of its political conflict, not of its theological deviances, the relationship of Tertullian with Montanism needs to be reconsidered. Then, the researcher tries to vindicate Tertullian’s position through two methodological approaches. First, the researcher reconstructs the new image of Tertullian as the lay leader born into Montanism by deconstructing the conventional portrayal of Tertullian; (1) as the son of an officer of the Roman army, (2) as the professional Jurist, (3) as the Catholic priest at Carthage, and (4) as the schismatic. Second, the researcher also takes into account of Tertullian’s identity in the concept of the transitional correlation. By applying Tertullian’s transitional period as the Pagan-Catholic-Montanist to the concentric circles of concern, the previous view of Tertullian can be transformed into the new formula of Pagan as caterpillar- Catholic as cocoon-Montanist as butterfly. This three-fold structure then opens the way for a newborn image of Tertullian. Chapter 4 is dealing with the relationship between Montanism, the Montanist Tertullian, and the present-day Pentecostalism in order to answer the final question; “Why does Montanism include/exclude the present-day Pentecostalism as Neo-Montanism?” Tertullian’s Montanism, like a hinge, closely interconnects the present-day Pentecostalism to the original Montanism in historical, theological and ecclesiological sense of the word. First, the first generation of Pentecostals, regardless of whether they are the proponents of the Azusa Street or Topeka revival, they find their historical identity in the first generation of the apostolic church and this includes the second-century Montanists and the Montanist Tertullian. Second, from the theological point of view, the Montanist distinctive theological fashions, such as ecstatic prophecy, speaking in tongues, and the impending eschatological hope, has clearly re-echoed in the diadem of the current Pentecostal theology.. Third, the original Montanists and the present-day Pentecostals are both ecclesiologically the strong advocates of the pneumatological theocracy. For both, the priority is to return to the apostolic primitive church.. So, the current Pentecostals is convinced that they trace their root from the second-century spirit-filled Montanists. Chapter 5 summarizes the relationship between Montanism, the Montanist Tertullian, and the present day Pentecostalism by answering to the following four research questions; (1) “Why were the original Montanists condemned?” The answer is the ecclesiastical power struggle between the urban and rural leadership made the Montanist crisis a highly politically charged affair rather than a theologically controversial issue. (2) “Why did Tertullian become a Montanist?” The answer is Tertullian, as natural born Montanist, is determined to be a self-sacrificing mediator in order to bring reconciliation between the two rivals, namely, the city-priest and the countryside prophets. (3) “Why does Montanism include/exclude the present-day Pentecostalism as Neo- Montanism?” The answer is Montanism is the antecedent of the present-day Pentecostalism.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: In die oë van die Rooms Katolieke Kerk is Montanisme niks anders nie as ʼn tweede-eeuse ketterse sekte. Hierdie ortodokse seining het die Katolieke Tertullianus as skismatikus gedevalueer, in besonders toe hy Montanisme as sy teologiese standpuntname aanvaar het. Deesdae is geleerdes van mening dat Tertullianus se oorgang na Montanisme is nie noodwendig die gevolg van sy teologiese stellingname nie. Dit suggereer eerder dat Tertullianus van die begin af, meer simpatiekgesind teenoor die nuwe profete as teenoor die Katolieke priesters was. Dit blyk dat die Montanus Tertullianus altyd voorkeur bo die Katolieke Tertullianus gekry het. Gegewe hierdie perspektief, het die tesis soos volg ontwikkel: Hoofstuk 1, die onderwerp en titel word ingelei met vier kritiese navorsing vrae; (1) Hoekom was die oorspronklike Montanisme veroordeel? (2) Hoekom het Tertullianus 'n Montanus geword? (3) Hoekom sluit Montanisme die hedendaagse Pentekostalisme Neo -Montanisme uit? (4) Hoekom sluit Montanisme die hedendaagse Pentekostalisme Neo-Montanisme in? Hier is veral van belang Tertullianus se intermediêre posisie as 'n punt van kontak. Tertullianus staan nie net tussen die Montanisme en die Katolieke nie, maar staan ook tussen die oorspronklike Montanisme en die hedendaagse Pentekostalisme as Neo-Montanisme. Hoofstuk 2 beoog om 'n antwoord op die eerste navorsingsvraag te vind: “Hoekom is die oorspronklike Montanisme veroordeel?" Die navorser het vervolgens drie aspekte wat betrekking het op die oorsaak van die oorspronklike veroordeling van Montanisme gefokus. (1) Montanisme was veroordeel as die slagoffer van die institusionalisering van die kerk, (2) die Montanisme was veroordeel as ʼn heidense inspirasie, byvoorbeeld die omstrede manifestasies: soos in ekstase, profesie (spreek in tale), fanatiese millennialisme, en streng Puritanisme, en (3) Montanisme was veroordeel as die stryd tussen leierskap in die stedelike en plattelandse kerk. Hierdie drie redes is interafhanklik van mekaar as 'n geheel en is dus nie 'n aparte entiteit nie. Die oorwinning van die stedelike kerk leierskap die veroordeling van die Montanisme, wat die landelike leierskap verteenwoordig het, geregverdig. Hoofstuk 3 handel oor die tweede vraag, "Hoekom het Tertullianus ʼn Montanus geword?" Die navorser erken die ongemaklike verband tussen die apologeet Tertullianus en die Montanus Tertullianus. Tog, as Montanisme daarvan beskuldig word van politieke konflik en nie van teologiese afwykings nie, dan behoort die verhouding van Tertullianus met Montanisme in heroorweging geneem te word. Die navorser het Tertullianus se posisie deur middel van twee metodologiese benaderings probeer verdedig. Eerstens, het die navorser die nuwe beeld van Tertullianus gerekonstrueer as leke leier wat in die tydperk van Montanisme gebore deur die konvensionele uitbeelding van Tertullianus te dekonstrueer; (1) as die seun van die Romeinse offisier, (2) as die professionele regsgeleerde, (3) as die Katolieke priester van Kartago, en (4) as die skismatikus. Tweedens, die navorser het ook Tertullianus se identiteit insake die konsep van die oorgang korrelasie in ag geneem. Deur Tertullianus se oorgang as die Heiden – Katolieke – Montanus in konsentriese sirkels aan te dui, kan die vorige siening van Tertullianus omskep word in die nuwe formule van die ruspe Katoliek – kokon – Montanus na vlinder. Hierdie drieledige struktuur baan die weg vir 'n nuwe beeld van Tertullianus. Hoofstuk 4 hanteer die verhouding tussen die Montanisme, die Montanus Tertullianus en die hedendaagse Pentekostalisme om sodoende die laaste twee vrae te beantwoord: "Hoekom is Montanisme in/uit gesluit in die hedendaagse Pentekostalisme as Neo-Montanisme?" Tertullianus se Montanisme, soos 'n skarnier, verbind die hedendaagse Pentekostalisme aan die oorspronklike Montanisme in historiese, teologiese en ekklesiologiese sin van die woord met mekaar. Eerstens, die eerste generasie van Pentekostalisme, ongeag of hulle voorstanders van die Azusa Straat herlewing of die Topeka herlewing is, vind hulle hul historiese identiteit in die eerste generasie van die apostoliese kerk en dit sluit in die tweede-eeuse Montanisme asook die Montanus Tertullianus. Tweedens, uit ʼn teologiese vertrekpunt, die Montanus se eiesoortige teologiese modes: soos in ekstase, profesie, spreek in tale, en die eskatologiese hoop, eggo duidelik die hedendaagse Pinkster teologie. Derdens, die oorspronklike montanisme en hedendaagse Pentekostalisme is beide ekklesiologies sterk voorstanders van die Pneumatologiese teokrasie. Vir beide van hulle is dit die prioriteit om na die primitiewe apostoliese kerk terug te keer. So, is die hedendaagse Pentekostalisme is daarvan oortuig dat hul, hul ontstaan kan terugspoor van die tweede-eeuse geesvervulde Montaniste. Hoofstuk 5 som die verhouding tussen die Montanisme, die Montanus Tertullianus en die hedendaagse Pentekostalisme op en beantwoord die volgende vier navorsingsvrae; (1) Hoekom was die oorspronklike Montaniste veroordeel? Die antwoord lê daarin opgesluit dat die kerklike magstryd tussen die stedelike en landelike leierskap het Montanisme ʼn hoogs polities gelaaide aangeleentheid gemaak eerder as 'n teologies omstrede kwessie. (2) Hoekom het Tertullianus 'n Montanus geword? Tertullianus, as gebore Montanus, was vasbeslote om 'n selfopofferende bemiddelaar te wees om sodoende versoening te bring tussen die twee opponerende groepe, naamlik, die stedelike – priester en die plattelandse profete. (3) Hoekom sluit Montanisme die hedendaagse Pentekostalisme Neo -Montanisme uit? (4) Hoekom sluit Montanisme die hedendaagse Pentekostalisme Neo -Montanisme in? Montanisme is die voorloper van die hedendaagse Pentekostalisme.

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