See also 80. CHRISTIANITY ; 349. RELIGION ; 392. THEOLOGY .
- 1. the tenet of a 4th-century Arian sect that God’s omniscience was restricted to contemporary time.
- 2. the tenet of a 6th-century Monophysite sect that Christ possessed no omniscience. —Agnoete, Agnoite , n.
- the beliefs and principles of an 11th-century Catharist sect of southern France, exterminated in the 13th century by order of Pope Innocent III. See Catharism . —Albigenses , n. pl. —Albigensian , n., adj.
- a late 4th-century heretical doctrine asserting that Christ had a perfect divine nature, an imperfect human nature, and a mind replaced by the Logos. —Apollinarian , n., adj.
- the heretical doctrine of Arius (d. 336) that Christ the Son was not the substance or nature as God the Father. —Arian , n.
- the beliefs of Berengar de Tours, 11th-century French churchman, especially his denial of transubstantiation. —Berengarian , n., adj.
- Cainism, Cainitism
- the beliefs of a 4th-century Gnostic sect, especially that the Old Testament concerns a demiurge and not God and that Cain, whom they revered, had been maligned. Cf. Gnosticism . —Cainite , n.
- the beliefs of several sects in medieval Europe, especially the denial of infant baptism, purgatory, the communion of saints, images, and the doctrine of the Trinity; the abrogation of the institution of marriage; and the practice of rigorous asceticism. —Cathar, Cathari, Catharist , n. —Catharistic , adj.
- the Monophysitic tenet of Cyril, 5th-century archbishop of Alex-andria, that Christ had only one nature, a composite of the human and the divine. —Cyrillian , n., adj.
- a very early heretical belief that held that Christ’s body was not material or real, but only the appearance of a body. —Docetae, n. pl.
- a heretical cult in N. Africa during the 4th through 7th centuries that emphasized high morality and rebaptism as necessary for church mem-bership and considered invalid a sacrament celebrated by an immoral priest. —Donatist , n. —Donatistic , adj.
- Ebionism, Ebionitism
- the beliefs of a Judaistic Christian Gnostic sect of the 2nd century, especially partial observation of Jewish law, rejection of St. Paul and gentile Christianity, acceptance of only one gospel (Matthew), and an early adoptionist Christology. — Ebionite , n. —Ebionitic , adj.
- beliefs and practices of the Encratites, a 2nd-century Gnostic sect that renounced marriage and abstained from flesh and wine. —Encratist, n.
- a member of a heretical sect, followers of Bishop Eudoxius, of Constantinople, who held extreme Arian views.
- the beliefs and practices of pre-Christian and early Christian sects, condemned by the church, especially the conviction that matter is evil and that knowledge is more important than faith, and the practice of esoteric mysticism. Cf. Cainism, Manichaeism, Valentinianism . —Gnostic , n., adj.
- 1. the originator of a heresy.
- 2. the leader of a group of heretics.
- a fighter of heresy and heretics.
- a systematic exposition on heresy.
- 1. Theology. the study of heresies.
- 2. a reference work on heresies. —heresiologist , n.
- 1. a religious opinion or doctrine at variance with accepted doctrine.
- 2. a willful and persistent rejection of any article of the faith by a baptized member of the Roman Catholic Church.
- 3. any belief or theory strongly at variance with established opinion. —heretic , n. —heretical , adj.
- Rare. 1. the killing of a heretic.
- 2. the killer of a heretic. —heretocidal , adj.
- a mania for idols.
- a heretical doctrine of the 17th and 18th centuries denying free-dom of the will, accepting absolute predestination for part of mankind and condemnation to hell for the others, and emphasizing puritanical moral attitudes. —Jansenist , n., adj.
- an adherent of Jovinian, a 4th-century monk who opposed asceti-cism and denied the virginity of Mary.
- the doctrines of Macedonius, 4th-century bishop of Constan-tinople, who denied the divinity of the Holy Ghost. —Macedonian , n.
- Manichaeism, Manicheism, Manicheanism
- 1. the doctrines and practices of the dualistic religious system of Manes, a blending of Gnostic Christianity, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, and other elements, especially doctrines of a cosmic conflict between forces of light and darkness, the darkness and evilness of matter, and the necessity for a sexual, vegetarian asceticism.
- 2. any similar dualistic system, considered heretical by orthodox Christian standards. Cf. Gnosticism . —Manichean , n., adj. —Manicheistic , adj.
- the theological doctrine that the members of the Trinity are not three separate persons but modes or forms of God’s self-expression. —modalist , n. —modalistic , adj.
- Modalistic Monarchianism
- the doctrine advanced by some Lutheran theologians that spiritual renewal is exclusively the activity of the Holy Spirit. Cf. synergism . —monergist , n. —monergistic , adj.
- the 2nd-century doctrines of Montanus of Phrygia, who believed that the Holy Spirit, or Paraclete, dwelt within him and made him its instrument for guiding men in the Christian way. Cf. Tertullianism. —Montanist , n.
- 1. the beliefs and practices of llth-century Bulgarian Manicheans who migrated to the Pataria section of Milan. Also called Pataria .
- 2. the beliefs and practices of various Cathari sects in France and Bulgaria. —Patarine, Patarene , n.
- a heretical doctrine denying the distinct personhood of the Trinity and asserting that God the Father became incarnate and suffered for mans redemption. —Patripassian , n.
- the heretical doctrines of Pelagius, 4th-century British monk, especially a denial of original sin and man’s fallen spiritual nature, and an assertion that man’s goodness was sufficiënt for him to work out his salva-tion without the assistance of the Holy Spirit. Cf. Semi-Pelagianism . —Pelagian , n., adj.
- a member of an early Christian sect that denied the reality of Christ’s body.
- the heresy of Photinus, 4th-century bishop of Sirmium, deposed because he denied the divinity of Christ.
- the concepts of Priscillian, 4th-century bishop of Avila, exe-cuted for heresies influenced by Manichaeism, Docetism, and modalism. —Priscillianist , n., adj.
- a 17th-century Christian mystical theory, originated in Spain by Molinos and promulgated in France by Fénelon, involving passive contem-plation and surrender of the will to God and indifference to the demands of the self or the outside world, declared heretical through efforts of the Inquisition. —quietist , n., adj.
- Socinianism, so called because the sect was headquartered in Racow, Poland. Cf. Socinianism .
- the modalistic doctrines of Sabellius, 3rd-century prelate, espe-cially that the Trinity has but one divine essence and that the persons are only varying manifestations of God. Also called Modalistic Monarchianism . —Sabellian , n., adj.
- a heretical doctrine, of the 5th century that accepted the doctrine of original sin but asserted that man’s turning to God of his own free will, not after the provocation of the Holy Ghost, begins the process of spiritual rebirth. Cf. Pelagianism .
- the heretical tenets of Faustus Socinius, a 16th-century Italian theologian, denying the divinity of Christ, the existence of Satan, original sin, the atonement, and eternal punishment, and explaining sin and salva-tion in rationalistic terms. Cf. Racovianism . —Socinian , n., adj.
- an ancient heretical doctrine, extant since the 3rd century, which holds that spiritual renewal is a cooperative endeavor between a person and the Holy Ghost. Cf. Pelagianism, Semi-Pelagianism . —synergist , n. —synergistic , adj.
- 1. the act or process of subterfuge or evasion.
- 2. the abandoning of a cause or belief; apostasy. —tergiversator , n.
- a form of Montanism, as modified by Tertullian in about 203, which opposed second marriages and absolution for penitents. Cf. Montanism . —Tertullianist , n.
- a 6th-century heretical doctrine maintaining that Christ had only one nature, the divine, and that this nature suffered at the Crucifixion. —Theopaschite , n.
- a 2nd-century blending of Egyptian Gnosticism and Christi-anity into a system of heretical doctrines, especially the denial that Christ took his human nature from the Virgin Mary. Cf. Gnosticism . —Valentinian , n., adj.
"Heresy." -Ologies and -Isms. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 28, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/heresy
"Heresy." -Ologies and -Isms. . Retrieved April 28, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/heresy
In other religions, the term is not formally appropriate, but similar considerations, derived from the necessity for systems to have boundaries, can be found. Thus in Judaism, neither Bible nor Talmud present creeds or dogmas to which Jews must conform. However, Deuteronomy 17. 8–13 isolates the zaqen mamre, the obstinate teacher (rebellious elder). Already in the Mishnah serious aberrancy is recognized. Heresy now is belief in ideas condemned by the Orthodox religious authorities. In Judaism, a heretic is still considered to be a Jew, and is described by a number of terms such as min, apikoros, and kofer (cf. kāfir).
The nearest equivalent in Islam is ilḥād, ‘deviation’. Heretics are called malāḥidah. Right practice (sunna) is as important as right belief, but in any case the heretic is, quintessentially, one who denies the reality of God. Thus the major offences in Islam are shirk and bidʿa. One who forsakes Islam is an apostate (murtadd), and if he turns against Islam in public attack, he should be executed.
In E. religions, it might seem, superficially, that there is little room for a concept equivalent to heresy. ‘Hinduism’ and ‘Buddhism’ contain diversities of an even more spectacular kind than Christianity. Hinduism as sanātana dharma is able to include conceptually even those breakaway religious movements, such as the Jains and Buddhists, which are usually described as separate religions. They are interpretations (darśana) of the revelation in the Vedas, but unorthodox ones—nāstika as opposed to āstika. In a sense which is now eroded, the orthodox is defined geographically: it is the area in which dharma can be observed. Thus Manusmṛti:
The land between the two sacred rivers Sarasvati and Drsadvati, this land created by divine powers, is the Brahmavarta. The customs prevailing in this land, passed on from one generation to another, constitute right behaviour (sadācāra). From a brahman born and bred in this land all people should learn how to live.… Beyond is the land of the mlecchas: a twice-born should remain in this land; a śūdra may, to gain his livelihood, live anywhere.
Buddhism was not even confined to territory, since it was, at least in terms of teaching, opposed to caste, sacrifice, and dharma determined by Vedas and brahmans. However, it was not on trivial issues that the early schools divided (see COUNCILS (BUDDHIST)); and the subsequent elaboration into sūtra-based Buddhism (i.e. Mahāyāna) led to an immense proliferation of schools and traditions. But although there has been considerable hostility between Mahāyāna and Hīnayāna (witness the latter name itself), the different forms of Buddhism have in general flourished in different geographical areas. The definition of the heretic has therefore been extremely local, leading to expulsion from communities, especially of monks (see EXCOMMUNICATION). The nearest equivalent to heresy is ‘false views’: see DIṬṬHI.
"Heresy." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 28, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/heresy
"Heresy." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Retrieved April 28, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/heresy
Though persecution of laymen for heresy ceased, the careers of clerics and academics (in holy orders) could still be jeopardized by charges of heresy, and the offence of blasphemy remained dangerous. James Nayler, a quaker, was whipped, branded, and had his tongue bored for blasphemy in 1656/7, and Thomas Aikenhead, a mere youth, was executed in Edinburgh in 1697. William Whiston, Newton's successor at Cambridge, was deprived of his chair in 1710 for arianism; John Simon, professor of divinity at Glasgow, was suspended in 1729 on the same charge; Thomas Woolston, a fellow of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, lost his fellowship in 1721, was prosecuted for blasphemy in 1729, and died in prison. Later prosecutions included the publishers of Paine's The Age of Reason (1797, 1812, 1819), the publisher of Shelley's Queen Mab (1821), and George Holyoake for a lecture (1842). In 1977 Mary Whitehouse brought a successful private action against Gay News for printing a poem portraying Christ as a homosexual. Existing legislation against blasphemy protects Christianity only and there has been pressure to extend it to cover Islam and other religions.
J. A. Cannon
"heresy." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 28, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/heresy
"heresy." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Retrieved April 28, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/heresy
heresy, in religion, especially in Christianity, beliefs or views held by a member of a church that contradict its orthodoxy, or core doctrines. It is distinguished from apostasy, which is a complete abandonment of faith that makes the apostate a deserter, or former member. Heresy is also distinguished from schism, which is a splitting of or from the church brought about by disputes over hierarchy or discipline, rather than over matters of doctrine. The heretic considers himself or herself not only a church member but, in a doctrinal controversy, the true believer; indeed, some persons originally labeled heretical were rehabilitated after once abhorred views become accepted.
The battle for doctrinal control of Christianity began with the declarations of St. Paul in the New Testament. In the religion's first three centuries, numerous sects, many arising from Gnosticism, were in conflict. The first Council of Nicaea (AD 325), which addressed the challenge of Arianism, was among convocations at which a Christian orthodoxy was established.
Excommunication was the usual method of dealing with heretical individuals or small groups. The medieval church undertook military action (as against the Albigenses, in 1208) and extensive legal and punitive campaigns (such as the Inquisition) in striving to suppress large-scale heresy. The Protestant Reformation created new churches that at first campaigned against heresy from their own doctrinal bases; over time, however, the Roman Catholic church has remained the only Christian body that has continued with any frequency, on the basis of canon law, to prosecute heretics.
See also blasphemy.
"heresy." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 28, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/heresy
"heresy." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved April 28, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/heresy
her·e·sy / ˈherəsē/ • n. (pl. -sies) belief or opinion contrary to orthodox religious (esp. Christian) doctrine: Huss was burned for heresy the doctrine was denounced as a heresy by the pope. ∎ opinion profoundly at odds with what is generally accepted: cutting capital gains taxes is heresy | the politician's heresies became the conventional wisdom of the day. ORIGIN: Middle English: from Old French heresie, based on Latin haeresis, from Greek hairesis ‘choice’ (in ecclesiastical Greek ‘heretical sect’), from haireisthai ‘choose.’
"heresy." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 28, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/heresy-1
"heresy." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved April 28, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/heresy-1
"heresy." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 28, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/heresy
"heresy." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved April 28, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/heresy
"heresy." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 28, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/heresy
"heresy." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Retrieved April 28, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/heresy
So heretic XIV. heretical XVI. — medL.
"heresy." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 28, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/heresy-2
"heresy." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved April 28, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/heresy-2
"heresy." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 28, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/heresy-0
"heresy." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved April 28, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/heresy-0