A History of Heresy
With the changes in Christian orthodoxy over the centuries, the term heretic has come to hold a wide range of meanings. Society condemned the first Christians, themselves, as heretics because they defied the doctrines of Judaism. Focusing specifically on Christian heresy, David Christie-Murray's cogent and lucid study surveys minority believers from the early Judaizers, who believed that salvation depended purely on the observation of Christian versions of "the law," through Gnosticism, Montanism, Monarchianism, Arianism, Apollinarianism, Nestorianism, Pelagianism, Lutheranism, Anglicanism, and other movements and minorities, to the bewildering variety of heresies in the twentieth century. Based on extensive scholarship, and yet compulsively readable, Christie-Murray's book explains the differences between different shades of Christian thought, and also provides an exciting, continuous narrative of the development of Christianity through the ages.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - LibraryThing
The difference between heresies is like a dish prepared by two equally good chefs: Alike, but somehow different. Because much about Christian doctrine is obscure, there have always been various interpretations -- and when the interpretations become sufficiently distinct, the result is heresy. If you want a detailed description of heresy, you won't find it here. But you will get a good general overview. Setting aside odd sects such as the Gnostics, most early heresies (Arianism, the various forms of monophysitism) involved the relations between the various parts of the Trinity. There were also issues involving human perfection and fallibility (Donatism and Pelagianism, although these were very different indeed), and later some radical reinterpretations such as the Cathars. Eventually, we reached the stage of the Reformation, and heresy gave way to denominational instability. In a way, though, the theme is still the same: A mysterious core of Christianity, balanced on a knife's edge, with many people falling off in one way or another. Often the true measure of heresy is simply how illogical is the result. (The Gnostics get very high scores here.) Again, you won't find deep doctrinal arguments in this volume. But you'll get a good general picture of what the heretics meant, and it all moves quickly enough that you get a good overview, too. Maybe you won't be able to use this for footnotes for your doctoral thesis. But read it for a first look, then start digging into Irenaeus and Tertullian and the detailed modern studies.
Review: A History Of HeresyUser Review - Goodreads
Overall I found this book to be a much better read than I originally anticipated. First of all, Murray's tone was perfect. I had been apprehensive of reading this book because I assumed that it would ...
The Doctrine of Heresy
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