Hypsistarians

hypsistians. An obscure sect of the fourth century, probably confined to Cappadocia. Nothing is known of them apart from what we know from Gregory of Nazianzus* and Gregory of Nyssa.* The sect appears to have held a syncretistic doctrine, containing elements derived from heathen, Christian, and Jewish sources. It was strictly monotheistic, rejecting both polytheism and the doctrine of the Trinity, and worshiping God who was symbolized by fire and light, and referred to as the Almighty and the Most High. The sect rejected sacrifice and every outward form of worship, holding that adoration was a purely spiritual act. But paradoxically, it adopted the observance of the Jewish Sabbath and the Levitical prohibition of certain foods. Members of the sect were few in number and of little influence even in Cappadocia. The father of Gregory of Nazianzus (also called Gregory) had been a member, but was converted through the influence of his wife Nonna.