Cover image for A brief history of heresy
A brief history of heresy
Evans, G. R. (Gillian Rosemary)
Publication Information:
Malden, MA : Blackwell Pub., [2003]

Physical Description:
xvi, 195 pages : illustrations ; 18 cm.
Subject Term:

Format :


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BT1315.3 .E93 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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This short and accessible book introduces readers to the problemsof heresy, schism and dissidence over the last two millennia. Theheresies under discussion range from Gnosticism, influential in theearly Christian period, right through to modern sects.

The idea of a heretic conjures up many images, from the martyrsprepared to die for their beliefs, through to sects with bizarrepractices. This book provides a remarkable insight into the fraughthistory of heresy, showing how the Church came to insist onorthodoxy when threatened by alternative ideals, exploring thesocial and political conditions under which heretics were created,and how those involved were 'tested' and punished, often byimprisonment and burning. Engaging written, A Brief History ofHeresy is enlivened throughout with fascinating examples ofindividuals and movements.

A short, accessible history of heresy.
Spans the last two millennia, from the Gnostics through tomodern sects.
Considers heresy in relation to ecclesial separatism, doctrinaldisagreement, church order, and basic metaphysics.
Enlivened with intriguing examples of individuals andmovements.
Written by a leading academic in the field of ReligiousHistory.

Author Notes

G. R. Evans is Lecturer in History at the University of Cambridge. She was for ten years a prominent member of the Church and Order Advisory Group of the Church of England, and is a former diarist for The Church Times

Table of Contents

List of Illustrationsp. viii
Prefacep. x
1 The Importance of Being Unitedp. 1
Forming Consensusp. 5
The Papacyp. 10
The Bible in the Hands of Hereticsp. 13
Areas Where Disagreement May be Allowedp. 20
2 The Boundaries of Orthodoxy: Faithp. 23
The Apostles' Creedp. 24
The Nicene Creedp. 29
Catechesisp. 34
Misdirected Worship and Taking the Name of God in Vainp. 38
Does the Faith 'Develop' Through History?p. 41
The Content of the Creeds and the Question of Orthodoxyp. 45
3 The Boundaries of Orthodoxy: Orderp. 47
'Disorder' at the Wild Fringesp. 47
Orderlinessp. 53
Ministry and Orderp. 55
The Rigorist Disputep. 57
Schismaticsp. 59
Diasporap. 61
Orthopraxisp. 62
4 Classifying Heresiesp. 65
What Could be Imported from Ancient Philosophy?p. 66
Incarnation and Christologyp. 67
The Augustinian Triop. 70
The Easter Controversyp. 71
The Doctrine of Transubstantiationp. 72
1054 and the Schism of East and Westp. 73
From Sect to 'Confessional Identity'p. 76
The Power of a Namep. 80
Categories of Unbeliefp. 83
Pinning Accusations to Suspected Hereticsp. 86
The Creation of a Critical Literaturep. 88
5 Heresy and Social Challengep. 90
Popular Heresy: The Anti-establishment Dissidents Speak up for Themselvesp. 93
The Road to Dissentp. 98
The Waldensiansp. 99
John Wyclif and the Lollard Movementp. 106
Jan Husp. 110
The Hussite 'Movement'p. 117
Social Consequences After the Middle Agesp. 119
6 Good and Evilp. 123
The Mediaeval Dualistsp. 126
7 Dealing with Heresyp. 134
University Sermonsp. 136
The Preaching of the Heretics Themselvesp. 138
Crusadep. 141
Inquisitionp. 142
The Change in the Balance of Powerp. 149
Living with Differencep. 151
Conclusionp. 157
Notesp. 166
Further readingp. 180
Indexp. 186