Heretical movement that appeared in Asia Minor (q.v.) in the fourth century, and which was condemned at the Council of Ephesus (q.v.) in 431. Messalians were charismatics who challenged the hierarchical church with its priesthood and sacraments, believing instead in a salvation based on individual purification, charismatic experience, and prayer. After the seventh century, the term became one of general reproach, meant to tarnish any charismatic sect that denied the church and its sacraments. The term could also be used to attack forms of charismatic monasticism (q.v.) within the church. For example, Barlaam attacked Palamas (qq.v.) in a work entitled Against the Messalians, in which he asserts that Hesychasm (q.v.) is a form of Messalianism.

Historical Dictionary of Byzantium . .

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