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History of Heresy [Hardcover]

David Christie-Murray
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 July 1976
This work concerns itself specifically with "Christian" heresies, ie departure from Christian orthodoxy. The author surveys minority believers from the early Judaizers through Gnosticism, Nestorianism, Pelagianism, Lutherinism, Anglicanism and other movements and minorities. The book attempts to explain the differences between different strands of Christian thought, and also provides a narrative of the development of Christianity down the ages.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: New English Library (1 July 1976)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0450028437
  • ISBN-13: 978-0450028434
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 741,203 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
This is a fascinating study of the shifting boundaries between required and banned religious expression. Naturally, those who condemned others had a tendency to violate their own rules. For example, Christie-Murray explores what happened when the Western Church moved toward reversing its rule on marriage for priests -- from forbidding divorce for priests (as ruled at the Council of Nicaea), to denouncing marriage for priests as a sin. While upholders of the new doctrine expressed dismay at the married clergy's moral depravity, the Eastern Church took an opposite view. In 867, Patriarch Photius of Constantinople accused the Roman Church of heresy for repeatedly ordering celibacy in church families. For Photius, the Western Church was succumbing to a Manichaean belief that matter and flesh were evil.

--author of Correcting Jesus: 2000 Years of Changing the Story
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5.0 out of 5 stars An Eye Opener On The Inhumanity of Religion 2 Jun 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have read several books on Christian heresy, but this book is by far the best. It manages to square the circle of covering the subject comprehensively, while remaining incredibly readable. Christie-Murray deals with the subject chronologically, beginning with the fact that Christ himself was viewed as a heretic by the Jews of his time and progressing right up to the 20th century heresies, including some still current today. Where other writers have skirted round the inhumanity inherent in Christian orthodoxy, through which the heterodox are subjected to at the very least ostracism, running the complete gamut of treatment through imprisonment, torture and indescribably inhumane death, this author has not. We have all heard of the Spanish Inquisition, and the treatment it meted out to those who did not share the Roman Catholic faith, but it may surprise some readers that the practice of torture and burning at the stake was not a practice of that branch of Christianity alone. Heretics were burned on a regular basis by Anglicans, Lutherans, Calvinists, Church of Scotland and many other dispensations too. One wonders how people who claimed to be the followers of the "Prince of Peace" could treat other humans in such a vicious manner. It shocked me to learn that heretics were burned alive so that blood would not be spilled in the name of God ! It's OK to fry the blood, but not to let it flow while killing. What incredible hypocrisy. It does tend to make one wonder about the genuineness of their faith, and the believability of their denominations' doctrines ! Another subject that Christie-Murray does not shy away from is the use and abuse made of the faith by rulers and the Church hierarchy, making the faith of the people no more than a political pawn and a means to power for the elite. Read more ›
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shamefully out of print 6 Aug 2000
By Art Kleiner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
When I used to work at the Whole Earth Catalog, whenever a truly great book was out of print we used to thunder in bold faced type, "Get this book back in print!" That's how I feel about A History of Heresy. It is probably the most complete overview of the undertow to the Christian church available (or, well, formerly available). It is a Baedeker of everyone who challenged the ideas of the church from within through the centuries, and it is wonderfully well written. I learned enough here to "fake it" for the passages on Medieval heretics in my own book, The Age of Heretics.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A History of Heresy 20 Nov 2001
By Stephen Crosby - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
An extremely readable, engaging, and yet thoroughly scholarly examination of doctrinal issues facing the early church. An excellent choice as a primer for beginners not familiar with the details fo the issues involved.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The shifting boundaries between required and banned religion 9 Feb 2008
By Brian Griffith - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is a fascinating study of the shifting boundaries between required and banned religious expression. Naturally, those who condemned others had a tendency to violate their own rules. For example, Christie-Murray explores what happened when the Western Church moved toward reversing its rule on marriage for priests -- from forbidding divorce for priests (as ruled at the Council of Nicaea), to denouncing marriage for priests as a sin. While upholders of the new doctrine expressed dismay at the married clergy's moral depravity, the Eastern Church took an opposite view. In 867, Patriarch Photius of Constantinople accused the Roman Church of heresy for repeatedly ordering celibacy in church families. For Photius, the Western Church was succumbing to a Manichaean belief that matter and flesh were evil.

-author of Correcting Jesus
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