Antitactae (q. d. ἀντιτακταί, from ἀντιτάσσω, to resist), the Antinomian branch of the Gnostics. Gnosticism regarded matter as absolutely evil, and the body as the seat and source of evil. Gnostic morality, therefore, consisted in the mortification of the body. One class of Gnostic sects tried to attain this end by means of rigorous asceticism, SEE ENCRATITES, the other by wilfully abusing it for debauchery. The latter class bore the collective name Antitactae, as they considered the law as not obligatory for them, and intended to show their contempt of the law, and of the Demiurgos, the author of matter, and, consequently, of evil, by purposely transgressing the commandments of the law. To this class belong the Carpocratians, Basilidians, and others. Whether any particular sect ever bore the name Antitactae is still controverted.Neander, Ch. Hist. 1, 451. See GNOSTICISM.

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