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Heretics: The Creation of Christianity from the Gnostics to the Modern Church

Heretics The Creation of Christianity from the Gnostics to the Modern Church In Heretics Jonathan Wright charts the history of dissent in the Christian Church through the stories of some of its most emblematic heretics from Arius a fourth century Libyan cleric who doubted the

  • Title: Heretics: The Creation of Christianity from the Gnostics to the Modern Church
  • Author: Jonathan Wright
  • ISBN: 9780151013876
  • Page: 325
  • Format: Hardcover
  • In Heretics Jonathan Wright charts the history of dissent in the Christian Church through the stories of some of its most emblematic heretics from Arius, a fourth century Libyan cleric who doubted the very divinity of Christ, to successful heretics like Martin Luther and John Calvin As he traces the Church s attempts at enforcing orthodoxy, from the days of ConstantiIn Heretics Jonathan Wright charts the history of dissent in the Christian Church through the stories of some of its most emblematic heretics from Arius, a fourth century Libyan cleric who doubted the very divinity of Christ, to successful heretics like Martin Luther and John Calvin As he traces the Church s attempts at enforcing orthodoxy, from the days of Constantine to the modern Catholic Church s lingering conflicts, Wright argues that heresy, by forcing the Church to continually refine and impose its beliefs, actually helped Christianity to blossom into one of the world s most formidable and successful religions Today, all believers owe it to themselves to grapple with the questions raised by heresy Can you be a Christian without denouncing heretics Is it possible that new ideas challenging Church doctrine are destined to become as popular as have Luther s once outrageous suggestions of clerical marriage and a priesthood of all believers A delightfully readable and deeply learned new history, Heretics overturns our assumptions about the role of heresy in a faith that still shapes the world.

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      Published :2018-08-25T11:08:50+00:00

    1 thought on “Heretics: The Creation of Christianity from the Gnostics to the Modern Church

    1. It is not easy to compress 2000 years of Christian heresy in a 300-page book. Jonathan Wright somehow manages to do so. His survey is a necessarily general but reasonably comprehensive one which takes in its stride the various brands of heresy, from the abstruse theological polemics of the Early Church to the groundbreaking spiritual movements which developed amongst the American pioneers - new spiritualities for a New World. Wright, who describes himself as an agnostic, tries to keep an objecti [...]

    2. This is such a damned reasonable survey of heresy in the Christian religion, from ancient to modern times, that it would be impolite and perhaps self defeating to express irritation. It has an awful lot of ground to cover and, in closing, it addresses and acknowledges the extent of the material it has had to neglect, which is huge. At the close it has successfully name checked diverse major and lesser heresies and examined their impact on the unfolding history of Western Christianity, incorporat [...]

    3. For those readers new to the subject of heresy and heretics, this well-written introduction would be an excellent starting point. Wright proves to be a very congenial companion, and there is little that might “scare the horses” as it were. He is aware that he is potentially treading on dangerous ground, and spends some time early on to establish a wider, more tolerant view of heresy as being really another word for an alternative view. It is not, of course, that simple.Heresy, as we often te [...]

    4. I love a good book about heresy. All creative thought in religion comes out of heresy and every new religious movement starts out as a heresy from an older religion. For that matter pretty much all orthodox theology is written in reaction to heresy. Of course having a new religious idea is not enough to create a heresy. Someone else has to be so certain that they alone possess absolute truth that they believe they are justified in using force to compel anyone who disagrees with them to recant.Ch [...]

    5. Wright wrote this interesting overview of how the idea of heresy has helped to shape Christianity for a popular audience. What it lacks in specificity it accounts for in an entertaining, sweeping narrative which tells the stories of various heretics and their followers from the time of the early Christian Church up until (approximately) Vatican II in the 1960s. Often he tells a "commonly accepted" version of events followed by the adjustments to such myths found in more recent scholarship. Wrigh [...]

    6. This is an informative book, well-written and with an easy to read style/voice. It's good enough that I plan to re-read it, hoping to get even more out of it. I'm very interested in Church/Christian History as a whole, but especially enjoy reading history from an objective perspective. I don't get the sense that I'm reading a particular brand of Christianity's history, or even a history with too much slant on it, i.e. it’s not making up my mind for me, but simply presenting information and all [...]

    7. This was an VERY informative book and so very well written. I am not a scholar in any way of of either religious history or of European, so will have to re-read this book several times to ingest all the detailed history. As it approached the end in modern times, it did lead to some provocative questions, most especially about the "veneer" of tolerance different sects of Christianity suggest to have for one another while always maintaining that their own sect is the "true" way to salvation.Unfami [...]

    8. Heretics by Jonathan WrightHoughton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011302 pagesNon-fiction; Christian4.5/5 starsSource: Received a free e-ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.I chose to read this in order to learn more about heresy within the Christian faith. Almost from the beginning, "heresy" blossomed. I put that in quotes because there was disagreement about almost everything within Christianity. Was Jesus God or man or somewhere in between? How did one worship God? These and other questio [...]

    9. Wright speed walks through history for the sake of thematic links, but the names and periods run by so quickly that it's sometimes difficult to process everything properly. It's nice that he periodically harkens back to names he mentioned earlier on in the book, but if the mentioned historical personae didn't leave an impression on me earlier on, I found it difficult to remember who they were when he mentioned them again later on. On the plus side, I really enjoyed the line of objectivity that W [...]

    10. I thought this was pretty interesting, but had difficulty slogging through to the end. I was excited to give it a try after seeing a friend's play about Mary the Magdalene, but the book covered the Gnostics too quickly to give me much enlightenment on that point. Primarily, what I gleaned from this book was the big idea that Christianity that we know now was in large part shaped by people who were labeled by the Church (the Catholic Church) labeled "Heretics"; without people doing something "wro [...]

    11. As someone fascinated with the way religion has shaped culture and society throughout history, I absolutely loved this book. Yes, perhaps certain explanations could have been fleshed out a bit more in detail, but overall it was a very informative read. Aligning well with my opinions and views, I enjoyed his sassy and snide quips and comments all the more.Definitely a must read for people interested in early Christianity, social progression in history, and Western history.

    12. I'm conflicted regarding this book. It's very easy to read, and it examines some interesting angles regarding events in the history of Christianity that might not usually get a proper look-in. However, I'm not sure Jonathan Wright's viewpoint is as deep or detailed as it needs to be. It ends up being a fascinating, if strangely ephemeral, read.

    13. The history of Christan heretics from gnostics to the modern church. Traces the Church's attempts to enforce orthodoxy. Challenges our assumptions about the role of heresy in a faith that still shapes the world.

    14. Strong start and finish, but a whole lot of meandering in the middle. Seems reduced to very quick summaries of specific people or movements without getting a good feel for any of them. Still, a decent introduction to the topic.

    15. Useful for a general and brief overview of deviation throughout Christian history. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who wants to seriously study heresy in church history.

    16. Reading for an interview next Tuesday for Aeon Byte. So far a crystal and approachable work on the evolution of heresy from early Christian times. Gnostics and Marcionites and Arians oh my!

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