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adoptionism, Christian heresy taught in Spain after 782 by Elipandus, archbishop of Toledo, and Felix, bishop of Urgel (Seo de Urgel). They held that Jesus at the time of his birth was purely human and only became the divine Son of God by adoption when he was baptized. Variations of this doctrine had been held as early as the 3d cent. by the Theodotians, Paul of Samosata, and by the Nestorians. It reappeared in the neo-adoptionist heresy among the followers of Peter Abelard. Elipandus and Felix were condemned at Frankfurt (794). The vigorous refutation of Alcuin had much to do with the sect's disappearance in the early 9th cent. See also monarchianism.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on adoptionism from Infoplease:

  • Theodotians - Theodotians Theodotians, small heretical sect, formed c.190 by Theodotus, a Byzantine. It lasted ...
  • monarchianism - monarchianism monarchianism [Gr.,=belief in the rule of one], the concept of God that maintains his ...
  • Paul of Samosata - Paul of Samosata Paul of Samosata , fl. 260–72, Syrian Christian theologian, heretical ...
  • Alcuin - Alcuin Alcuin or Albinus, 735?–804, English churchman and educator. He was educated at the ...
  • Cathari - Cathari Cathari [Gr.,=pure], name for members of the widespread dualistic religious movement of the ...

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