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Heresy [Kindle Edition]

Alister McGrath
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Product Description


"A penetrating examination by an intellectual powerhouse."--Booklist


'Heresy has everything -- intrigue, mystery, excellent history and haunting sense of place. The beginning of a wonderful new detective series' Kate Mosse 'Fascinating ! The period is incredibly vivid and the story utterly gripping' Conn Iggulden (bestselling author of Bones of the Hills and The Dangerous Book for Boys) 'Heresy is a riveting read. Rich in both historical detail and ingenious twists, S J Parris has created a character in Giordano Bruno that will endure. A true rival to C J Sansom' Sam Bourne (bestselling author of The Righteous Men) 'Heresy is a must-read for every fan of historical thrillers. S. J. Parris transports the reader back to an extraordinary time in history by mobilizing fascinating details, suspense, and fully-drawn characters. Giordano Bruno turns out to be that rare hero, charismatic and nuanced enough to impel an encore, and to leave us asking for more from the gifted Parris' Matthew Pearl (author of The Dante Club) 'Parris paces her yarn perfectly' Daily Telegraph 'An atmospheric and well-written historical thriller' Guardian 'Parris succeeds where much historical fiction fails' Observer 'The places and people are vividly described with a merciful absence of period language, and the solution to this exciting, well-written tale comes as a real surprise' Literary Review

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 475 KB
  • Print Length: 290 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0281062153
  • Publisher: HarperCollins e-books; Reprint edition (3 Nov 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #261,073 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Mr. Stephen Redman VINE VOICE
An eminently readable treatise on the complex subject of Heresy in the church. McGrath is always a pleasure to read and his learned stature is the only thing that casts a shadow over this book.
Besides empowering the reader with the latest understanding of historical heresies,this book will help you recognise heresy today or at least proto-heresies.
There are few academic works of this size that I can't put down, but this was one! Simple summaries at every point,and an excellent bibliography.
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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heresy made clear and accessible 20 Jan 2010
An outstanding introduction to the nature of heresy, especially good on the first five centuries. Deals with the real issue of who decides what is a heresy. In the early church it emerges as the consensus fidelium. Later the Roman Church decides. After the Reformation there is no Protestant body with the necessary authority which is acceptable to all and so it ceases to be so meaningful and falls into disuse.However old heresies can reappear in modern guise. Heartily recommended.

Brian Lewis
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A cogent summary of early church history 17 Oct 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In his introduction, McGrath attempts to outline his understanding of why there has been renewed interest not only in the history of heresy, but also the resurrection (or adaption) of earlier heretical ideas. From here, he starts to give an overview of the book, at why it is important to have an understanding of the history of belief and how the notions of orthodoxy and heresy arose.

McGrath then goes on to have a look at some specific heresies; who the main characters were behind them, a history of their origins and the reasons why they became viewed as heresies. These specifically include Arianism, Docetism, Ebionitism, Montanism, Pelagianism & Valentinism.

The picture that McGrath paints of the origins of heresies of that of a group inside the church who are trying to understand the person and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth. These were not "outsiders" trying to undermine the church, as some may suppose, but they were simply taking their theologies down dead-ends. Then, rather than being driven out of the church, the heretics chose to leave and establish their own breakaway churches.

McGrath also points out the difference of what is a genuine heresy (being a theological disagreement) and what is sometimes incorrectly referred to as a heresy (which was more often than not a challenge to the authority of the church). His main point in example is that of Martin Luther and the origins of the Reformation, declared to be a heretic by the Roman Catholic church, but which was ultimately shown to be a restoration of patristic ideas and that it was particular aspects of Catholicism that were in fact heretical, and continue to be so to this day.

There is also included a slightly odd little chapter on how Christian heresy relates to Islam.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Academic yet approachable 29 Dec 2010
This book is academic but approachable. At times you may need to keep concentration levels up, a few things just went over my head(though I think that's just down to my mind being nearly 7 years out of practice in academic reading in UNI rather than the content being difficult)

It's a very concise and thorough review of the concept and history of heresy. The only thing that makes me not give this a 5 star if that i feel it would have been beneficial to delve in the Roman church more, from the reformation onwards. To me, this would have wrapped up the entire concept neatly as it would have confirmed and consolidated his theory that he consistently makes throughout the book that the meaning of heresy has changed over time from a development of ideas that were termed 'heretical' to a word that was used as an excuse to power and control rather than theological grounding.

Other than that however, a fantastic read. Recommend.
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