This article raises the issue of the religious doctrine which developed at the end of the 12th and beginning of the 13th centuries in one of the Italian Cathar Churches in Concorezzo, near Milan. This original doctrinal conception, concerning the question of the origin of evil, constituted a combination of moderate with radical dualism; it assumed that, other than the good principle - of God the creator - there is also an evil principle - an eternal four-faced spirit which does not have the power to create and is therefore not a god. A radical dualism of two principles not previously encountered therefore results, which attempts to remain moderate by force through retaining the idea of one God. Although this doctrine has been known to scholars since the 1940s, nobody has previously conducted a careful analysis of it. This article therefore attempts to explain the origin of this conception in the light of the events of the early history of Italian Catharism, separating the inspirations of the former dualistic doctrines from the original input of the Italian perfecti, to understand the motives of its creation and also to establish its place among the forms of dualism which we know.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.