A Gnostic sect who are said to have flourished in Galatia. They derived their name from Seleucus, who with certain Hermias is said to have propounded and taught their peculiar heresies. According to Philastrus (Liber Dicersarum Hacreseon, LV) the teaching of these heresies was based on the crudest form of Dualism. While they maintained that God was incorporeal, they asserted that matter was coeternal with Him. They exceeded the usual dualistic tenets in attributing evil to God as well as to matter. In their system the souls of men were not created by God, but were formed from earthly components -- fire and air -- by angels. Christ, they said, did not sit at the right hand of the Father in Heaven because (Psalm xviii, 6) "He hath set his tabernacle in the sun" must be interpreted to mean that Christ left His body in the sun. They did not practise baptism, basing their refusal to do so on the words of John the Baptist ( Matthew 3:11 ): "He shall baptize you in the Holy Ghost and fire". By hell they understood this present world, while Resurrection they explained as being merely the procreation over death with the expectation of a glorious immortality. The doctrines of Seleucus and his adherents were the source of another series of errors taught by some of their disciples who called themselves Prolinianites or Hermeonites. These latter rejected the dogmas of the Resurrection and Judgment. According to Philastrius they perverted large numbers. It must be said that a great deal of uncertainty exists regarding the history and real cause of the fact that the doctrines of the Seleucians so closely resembled those of Hermogenes, and because Hermogenes is not mentioned by Philastrius, conclude that these two were one and the same heresy. This assumption is plausible but there are vital differences between the teaching of Hermogenes and that of the Seleucians as, for example, on the subject of Christ as Creator which, together with the virgin birth, was admitted by Hermogenes. If any weight is to be attached to a method of chronology which seems rather arbitrary, the date assigned by Philastrius to the Seleucians, viz. After the reign of Decius, would exclude the supposition that he confounded them with the followers of Hermogenes.
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online