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Bogomils

Bogomils. A dualist Christian sect which flourished in Bulgaria from the 10th to as late as the 17th cent., and more widely in the Byzantine Empire in the 11th–12th cents. The name comes from their founder, a priest who took the name Bogomil (= Gk., Theophilos). They espoused the dualist and neo-gnostic doctrines of the Paulicians (e.g. belief in the devil as the creator of humanity and the world, docetic ideas of Christ, rejection of the Old Testament). They were also strongly ascetic, rejecting sex, marriage, and possessions, and not eating meat, believing that the soul must be freed from evil and thus the body. Bogomil influence can be discerned in the later Catharism of W. Europe.

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Bogomils

Bogomils (bō´gōmĬlz), members of Europe's first great dualist church, which flourished in Bulgaria and the Balkans from the 10th to the 15th cent. Their creed, adapted from the Paulicians and modified by other Gnostic and Manichaean sources, is attributed to Theophilus or Bogomil, a Bulgarian priest of the 10th cent. The movement was intensely nationalistic and political, as well as religious, and reflected resentment of Byzantine culture, Slavic serfdom, and imperial authority. They vanished due to persecution and the expansion of Islam, but bits of their ideas and folklore persisted for centuries in Slavic lands.

See M. Loos, Dualist Heresy in the Middle Ages (1974).

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Bogomil

Bogomil a member of a heretical medieval Balkan sect professing a modified form of Manichaeism. The name is recorded from the mid 19th century, and comes from medieval Greek Bogomilos, from Bogomil, literally ‘beloved of God’, the name of the person who first disseminated the heresy, from Old Church Slavonic.

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