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Heresy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


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Heresy is a controversial or novel change to a system of beliefs, especially a religion, that conflicts with established dogma.[1] It is distinct from apostasy, which is the formal denunciation of one's religion, principles or cause,[2] and blasphemy, which is irreverence toward religion.[3] The founder or leader of a heretical movement is called a heresiarch, while individuals who espouse heresy are known as heretics. Heresiology is the study of heresy. For other senses of this word, see dogma (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Apostasy (disambiguation). ... For the black metal band, see Blasphemy (band). ... In theology or the history of religion (particularly of Christianity), heresiology is the study of heresy. ...


The word "heresy" comes from the Greek hairetikos "able to choose" (haireisthai "to choose"). The term heresy is often perceived as a value judgment and the expression of a view from within an established belief system. A value judgment is a judgment of the rightness or wrongness of something, based on a particular set of values or on a particular value system. ... This article is currently under construction. ...

According to Merriam-Webster: from Late Latin haeresis, from Late Greek hairesis, from Greek, "action of taking, choice, sect", from hairein "to take".

Religious heresy


The use of the word "heresy" in the context of Christianity was given wide currency by Irenaeus in his tract Contra Haereses (Against Heresies) to describe and discredit his opponents in the early Christian Church. He described his own position as orthodox (from ortho- "straight" + doxa "belief") and his position eventually evolved into the position of the early Christian Church.[citation needed] Heresy, as a blanket term, describes a practice or belief that is labeled as unorthodox. ... Saint Irenaeus (Greek: Ειρηναίος), (b. ... On the Detection and Overthrow of the So-Called Gnosis, commonly called Against Heresies (Latin: Adversus haereses), is a five volume work written by St. ...

Heretics usually do not perceive their own beliefs as heretical. For instance, the Catholic Church holds Protestantism as espousing numerous heresies, while some Protestants considered Catholicism the "Great Apostasy". For a heresy to exist there must be an authoritative system of dogma designated as orthodox, such as those proposed by Catholicism. The name Catholic Church can mean a visible organization that refers to itself as Catholic, or the invisible Christian Church, viz. ... The Great Apostasy is a term used by some religious groups to allege a general fallen state of traditional Christianity, or especially of Catholicism, magisterial Protestantism and Eastern Orthodoxy, that it is not representative of the faith founded by Jesus and promulgated through his twelve Apostles: in short, that these... The name Catholic Church can mean a visible organization that refers to itself as Catholic, or the invisible Christian Church, viz. ...

The first known usage of the term in a civil legal context was in 380 AD by the "Edict of Thessalonica" of Theodosius I. Prior to the issuance of this edict, the Church had no state-sponsored support for any particular legal mechanism to counter what it perceived as 'heresy'. By this edict, in some senses, the State's authority in the Catholic Church's matters became somewhat overlapping. One of the outcomes of this blurring of Church and State was a sharing of State powers of legal enforcement between Church and State authorities. At its most extreme reach, this new secular reinforcement of the Church's authority gave Church leaders the power to, in effect, pronounce the death sentence upon those whom the Church considered heretical. Death penalty, death sentence, and execution redirect here. ...

Within 5 years of the official 'criminalisation' of heresy by the emperor, the first Christian heretic to be prosecuted, Priscillian was executed in 385 by Roman officials. For some years after the reformation, Protestant churches were also known to execute those whom they considered as heretics, including Catholics, and later, in North America, the Salem witch trials. The last known heretic executed by sentence of the Catholic Church was Cayetano Ripoll in 1826. The number of people executed as heretics under the authority of the various 'church authorities' is not known, however it most certainly numbers into the several thousands. Priscillian of Avila (died 385) was a Spanish theologian and the founder of a party which advocated strong asceticism. ... 1876 illustration of the courtroom; the central figure is usually identified as Mary Walcott The Salem witch trials were a series of hearings by local magistrates and county court trials to prosecute people alleged to have committed acts of witchcraft in Essex, Suffolk and Middlesex Counties of Massachusetts in 1692... A poor schoolmaster from Valencia,Spain, who was garroted or hanged to death on Jul 26 1826 for allegedly teaching Deist principles. ...

Perhaps due to the many modern negative connotations associated the term 'heretic', such as the Spanish inquisition, the term is used less often today. There are however, some notable exceptions: see for example Rudolf Bultmann and the "character" of debates over ordination of women and gay priests. The subject of Christian heresy opens up broader questions as to who has a monopoly on spiritual truth, as explored by Jorge Luis Borges in the short story "The Theologians" within the compilation Labyrinths.[4] This article is about one of the historical Inquisitions. ... Rudolf Karl Bultmann (August 20, 1884 - July 30, 1976) was a German theologian of Lutheran background, who was for three decades professor of New Testament studies at the University of Marburg. ... In general religious use, ordination is the process by which one is consecrated (set apart for the undivided administration of various religious rites). ... Borges redirects here. ... This article is about the maze. ...

Orthodox Judaism

Orthodox Judaism considers views on the part of Jews which depart from the traditional Jewish principles of faith to be heretical. In addition, the more right-wing groups within Orthodox Judaism hold that all Jews who reject the simple meaning of Maimonides's 13 principles of Jewish faith are heretics.[5] As such, most of Orthodox Judaism considers Reform and Reconstructionist Judaism to be heretical movements, and regards most of Conservative Judaism as heretical. The liberal wing of Modern Orthodoxy is more tolerant of Conservative Judaism, particularly its right wing, as there is some theological and practical overlap between these groups. Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, a leading Rabbinical authority for Orthodox Jewry of the second half of the twentieth century. ... There are a number of basic Jewish principles of faith that were formulated by medieval rabbinic authorities. ... Commonly used image indicating one artists conception of Maimonidess appearance Maimonides (March 30, 1135 or 1138–December 13, 1204) was a Jewish rabbi, physician, and philosopher in Spain, Morocco and Egypt during the Middle Ages. ... Reform Judaism can refer to (1) the largest denomination of American Jews and its sibling movements in other countries, (2) a branch of Judaism in the United Kingdom, and (3) the historical predecessor of the American movement that originated in 19th-century Germany. ... Reconstructionist Judaism is a modern American-based Jewish movement, based on the ideas of the late Mordecai Kaplan, that views Judaism as a progressively evolving civilization. ... This article is about Conservative (Masorti) Judaism in the United States. ... Modern Orthodox Judaism (or Modern Orthodox or Modern Orthodoxy) is a movement within Orthodox Judaism that attempts to synthesize traditional observance and values with the secular, modern world. ...

Heresy in Islam

Many in the two main bodies of IslamSunnis and the Shi'as—have regarded the other as heretical. Groups like the Ismailis, the Hurufiya, the Alawis, the Bektashi and even the Sufis have also been regarded as heretical by some[who?]. Although Sufism is often accepted as valid by Shi'a and many Sunnis, the relatively recent movement of Wahhabism view it as heretical. For people named Islam, see Islam (name). ... Sunni Islam is the largest denomination of Islam. ... Shī‘a Islam, also Shi‘ite Islam, or Shi‘ism (Arabic ) is the second largest denomination of the Islamic faith. ... The IsmāʿīlÄ« (Urdu: اسماعیلی IsmāʿīlÄ«, Arabic: الإسماعيليون al-IsmāʿīliyyÅ«n; Persian: اسماعیلیان Esmāʿīliyān) branch of Islam is the second largest part of the ShÄ«a community, after the Twelvers (Ithnāʿashariyya). ... Hurufism (Arabic حروفية hurufiyya, adjective form hurufi) is a mystical esoteric Sufi sect, that was active in areas of western Persia, Turkey and Azerbaijan in later 14th - early 15th century. ... Alawite is a Middle Eastern Syria. ... The Bektashism (Turkish: BektaÅŸilik) is an Islamic Sufi order (tariqat). ... Sufism (Arabic تصوف taṣawwuf) is a system of esoteric philosophy commonly associated with Islam. ... Wahhabism (Arabic: Al-WahhābÄ«yya الوهابية) or Wahabism is a conservative 18th century reform movement of Sunni Islam founded by Muhammad ibn Abd-al-Wahhab, after whom the movement is named. ...

Contemporary heresy

Today, heresy can be without a religious context as the holding of ideas that are in fundamental disagreement with the status quo in any practice and branch of knowledge. Religion is not a necessary component of the term's definition. The revisionist paleontologist Robert T. Bakker, who published his findings as The Dinosaur Heresies, jokingly treated the mainstream view of dinosaurs as dogma. A paleontologist carefully chips rock from a column of dinosaur vertebrae. ... Robert T. Bakker Dr. Robert T. Bakker (Bob Bakker), born March 24, 1945, in Bergen County, New Jersey, is an American paleontologist who has helped re-shape modern theories about dinosaurs, particularly by adding support to the theory that some dinosaurs were homeothermic (warm-blooded). ... For other senses of this word, see dogma (disambiguation). ...

The term heresy is also used as an ideological pigeonhole for contemporary writers because by definition heresy depends on contrasts with an established orthodoxy. For example, the tongue-in-cheek contemporary usage of heresy, such as to categorize a "Wall Street heresy" a "Democratic heresy" or a "Republican heresy", are metaphors which invariably retain a subtext that links orthodoxies in geology or biology or any other field to religion. These expanded metaphoric senses allude to both the difference between the person's views and the mainstream, and the boldness of such a person in propounding these views. Pigeonholing is a term used to describe processes that attempt to classify disparate entities into a small number of categories (usually, mutually exclusive ones). ... “Orthodox” redirects here. ... Elaborate marble facade of New York Stock Exchange as seen from the intersection of Broad and Wall Streets This article is about the New York street. ... Federal courts Supreme Court Circuit Courts of Appeal District Courts Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures (List) State Courts Local Government Other countries Atlas  Politics Portal      Further information: Politics of the United States#Organization of American political parties The Democratic... GOP redirects here. ... This article is about metaphor in literature and rhetoric. ... Subtext is content of a book, play, film or television series which is not announced explicitly by the characters (or author) but is implicit or becomes something understood by the reader / viewer as the production unfolds. ... This article includes a list of works cited but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ... For other uses, see Biology (disambiguation). ...

Variance from orthodox Marxism-Leninism is described as "right" or "left deviationism." The Church of Scientology uses the term "squirreling" to refer to unauthorized alterations of its teachings or methods. Vladimir Lenin in 1920 Leninism is a political and economic theory which builds upon Marxism; it is a branch of Marxism (and it has been the dominant branch of Marxism in the world since the 1920s). ...

Selected quotations

  • James G. March on the relation between madness, heresy, and genius: "... we sometimes find that such heresies have been the foundation for bold and necessary change, but heresy is usually just new ideas that are foolish or dangerous and appropriately rejected or ignored. So while it may be true that great geniuses are usually heretics, heretics are rarely great geniuses."[6]
  • Isaac Asimov distinguished between two types of scientific heretic: "Endoheretics are appropriately credentialed scientists. If the person is outside the scientific community or at least outside of his specialty, he is an exoheretic. If a person is an endoheretic, he will be considered as eccentric and incompetent, whereas if the person is an exoheretic, he will be regarded as a crackpot, charlatan, or fraud."

See also


  1. ^ Definition of "heresy" at Free Online Dictionary
  2. ^ Definition of "apostasy" at Dictionary.com
  3. ^ Definitions of "blasphemy" at Dictionary.com
  4. ^ Borges, Jorge Luis (1962). Labyrinths. New York: New Directions Publishing Corporation. pp. 119–126. ISBN 0-08112-0012-4. 
  5. ^ The Limits of Orthodox Theology: Maimonides' Thirteen Principles Reappraised, by Marc B. Shapiro, ISBN 1874774900, A book written as a contentious rebuttal to an article written in the Torah UMadda Journal.
  6. ^ Coutou, Diane. Ideas as Art. Harvard Business Review 84 (2006): 83-89.

External links

James G. March is Professor Emeritus at Stanford University. ... ‹ The template below (Expand) is being considered for deletion. ... A genius is a person of great intelligence. ... Isaac Asimov (January 2?, 1920?[1] – April 6, 1992), pronounced , originally Исаак Озимов but now transcribed into Russian as Айзек Азимов [1], was a Russian-born American author and professor of biochemistry, a highly successful writer, best known for his works of science fiction and for his popular science books. ... For other uses, see Apostasy (disambiguation). ... Binitarianism is a theology of two in one God, as opposed to one (unitarianism) or three (trinitarianism). ... Cherem (or Herem חרם), is the highest ecclesiastical censure in the Jewish community. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Christian anarchism is any of several traditions which combine anarchism with Christianity. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Christian theology. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Formal charges of heresy, although less common than in the medieval period, have not died out. ... The Infallibility of the Church is the belief that the Holy Spirit will not allow the Church to err in its belief or teaching under certain circumstances. ... This article is about the Inquisition by the Roman Catholic Church. ... This list contains persons burned by various religious groups, after being deemed heretics. ... “Orthodox” redirects here. ... Sabbath Breaking is not observing the Holy Sabbath day, and is usually considered a sin. ... The word schism (IPA: or ), from the Greek σχίσμα, skhísma (from σχίζω, skhízō, to tear, to split), means a division or a split, usually in an organization or a movement. ... This article is about the English rock band. ... ISBN redirects here. ... December 2006 issue of the Harvard Business Review. ... Wiktionary (a portmanteau of wiki and dictionary) is a multilingual, Web-based project to create a free content dictionary, available in over 151 languages. ...

  Results from FactBites:
Heresy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (4094 words)
Heresy, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is a "theological or religious opinion or doctrine maintained in opposition, or held to be contrary, to the Catholic or Orthodox doctrine of the Christian Church, or, by extension, to that of any church, creed, or religious system, considered as orthodox.
For example, the tongue-in-cheek contemporary usage of heresy, such as to categorize a "Wall Street heresy" or a "Republican heresy", are metaphors which invariably retain a subtext that links orthodoxies in geology or biology or any other field to the dogmas of religion (although religion may not necessarily appear as an explicit component).
Heresy, in these expanded metaphoric senses, is intended to allude to both the difference between the person's views and the mainstream, and the boldness of such a person in propounding these views, despite their unpopularity or even forceful opposition.
Heresy - definition of Heresy in Encyclopedia (3301 words)
Heresy is a value-judgment and the expression of a view from an established belief system.
Heresy is defined by Thomas Aquinas as "a species of infidelity in men who, having professed the faith of Christ, corrupt its dogmas." Heresy is both the nonorthodox belief itself, and the act of holding to that belief.
For example the tongue-in-cheek contemporary usage of heresy, such as to categorize a "Wall Street heresy" or a "Republican heresy", are metaphors which invariably retain a subtext that links orthodoxies in geology or Darwinism or any other field to the dogmas of religion (although religion may not necessarily appear as an explicit component).
  More results at FactBites »



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