A neo-Manichean sect southern France flourishing in the 12th and 13th centuries. The name Albigenses was given them by the Council of Tours (1163) and gradually was applied to all the heretics of the south of France. They were also called Catharists (> Gk katharos = pure). They maintained the dualistic view that only two mutually opposed principals existed in the universe: one called evil the other good.

Good and Evil

The good created the spiritual and the evil the material world. From the evil one issues all evil, all natural phenomena, whether growth of crystals or earthquakes, all war, and all sin. They even asserted that either all or part of The Old Testament sprang from the evil one. It follows that the beneficent God inspired the New Testament. Earth is a place of punishment, which will not be eternal since the soul is by nature divine.

The heresy disappeared about the end of the 14th century.