Catharism is the big heresy which conquered,
in the XIth and XIIth centuries, a part of Europe, from Bosnia to Lombardy
(Italy), from the north parts of the Rhin to what is our object: Languedoc,
Occitan fields, wide South-West.
Catharism is a neo-manicheism. Mani, the manicheism's founder,
a Persian heresiarch of the IIIrd century, supported the dualism dogma;
that is to say the existence of two principles: a good one from which
the spiritual field proceeded, and a bad one from which the material
world proceeded. The purifications which had been committed throughout
successive lives would allow man to get progressively free of the servitude
of the living matter and to get access to purified spirit. Nevertheless,
this doctrine is also deeply influenced by Iranian Mazdeism and obviously
Roman Catholicism with some inheritance to the old Jewish theology.
From the moral field, these Cathar Christians are "more christians"
than the Catholics themselves since they would live in asceticism and
with an imperative figure: chastity.
Cathars are non-violent, they preach
a purified religion of sacraments, edifices, idol images: a kind of
coming back to sources, condemning wealth and sexuality