The Great Heresies () by Hilaire Belloc Table of contents. Introduction: What is a Heresy?→. Sister Projects. sister projects: Wikidata item. Introduction: Heresy Scheme of This Book The Arian Heresy The Great and Enduring Heresy of Mohammed The Albigensian Attack What Was the Reformation?. In this new edition of a classic work, the great Catholic apologist and historian Hilaire Belloc examines the five most destructive heretical.

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There could be no question of resisting it by force, and it was in a sense the government. The Protestant attack differed from the rest especially in this characteristic, that its attack did not consist in the promulgation of a new doctrine or of a new authority, that it made no concerted attempt at creating a counter-Church, but had for its principle the denial of unity.

He is much less in touch with reality than was Athanasius when he affirmed the point of doctrine to be all important. You read in the life of a Thaumaturge that he raised a man from the dead in the basilica of Vienna in A.

All of this is new to me. I shall describe the consolidation of it, its increasing power and the threat greta it remained to our civilization. If they except, that is cut out, this bellpc doctrine, they may continue to hold all the others, but the scheme is changed, the type of life and character and the rest become quite other. The movement for denying the full Godhead of Christ and making Him a creature took its title from one Areios in the Latin form Ariusa Greek-speaking African cleric rather older than Constantine, and already famous as a religious force some years before Constantine’s victories and first imperial power.

This needs to be addressed.

The Great Heresies – Hilaire Belloc

It was the factor which is called today in European politics “Particularism,” that is, the tendency of a part of the state to separate itself from the rest and to live its own life. We have to do this because, when a heresy has been long dead, its savour is forgotten. His Catholic faith had a strong impact on his works. Interesting if you want a survey of important heresies described in the framework of Church history.

I propose to select five main attacks of this kind from the whole of the very great-the almost unlimited-number of efforts, major and minor, to bring down the edifice of unity and authority. Careful to tell the story from both sides, he draws conclusions that are convicting because of their historical accuracy and theological reasonableness.


The book is divided into the bellof chapters: For instance, that religion has for one essential part though it is only a part the statement that the individual soul is immortal-that personal conscience survives physical death.

Belloc covers five main heresies against the Catholic faith: If or when that last danger is dissipated, the next can only appear after some fashion of which we have already had experience. They were ultimately thrust back to the Pyrenees, but they continued to hold all Spain except the mountainous north-western corner.

But we have here a matter of positive and universal experience. We are not certain what those numbers were; at the most they may have come to half a million-they were probably a good deal less.

Sep 25, Peter Kong rated it liked it. But all this would not have sufficed had not the man himself been what he was. He sprang from pagans.

The particular tone and unmistakable impress which it stamped upon society being no longer experienced is non-existent for us, and it had to be resurrected, as it were, by anyone who wants to talk true history. May 04, Amanda rated it it was ok. The point is that the doctrine and its denial were formative of the nature of men, and the nature so formed determined the future of the society made up of those men. Books by Hilaire Belloc. Belloch also spends a few paragraphs judging the world in terms of a Protestant part, which fell to usury, thereby gaining power, and a Catholic part which suffered more because of its stronger dependence on a now weakened Church as an explanation of the contemporary state of the world.

To me, the most interesting one was the classification of Islam as a heresy of Christianity. It was not a civilian state. Belloc gives a solid overview history of Europe from a Catholic not the usual secular perspective.

Through Him the world was created. No doubt a schism commonly includes a heresy, and no doubt certain heresies have attempted to plead that we should be reconciled with them, as we might be with a schism.

I myself have known and talked to some half-dozen of them in various parts of the world, and there are a very much larger number of similar men, well instructed Europeans, who, having lost their faith in Catholicism or in some form of Protestantism in which they were brought up, feel sympathy with the Mohammedan social scheme although they do not actually join it or profess belief in its religion.


It came geographically from just outside the area of Christendom; it appeared, almost from the outset, as a foreign enemy; yet it was not, strictly speaking, a new religion attacking the old, it was essentially a heresy; but from the circumstances of its birth it was a heresy alien rather than intimate.

They never became completely barbaric, not even in Britain, which was the most remote; but they were harried and impoverished, and lacked proper government. Try the Kindle edition and experience these great reading features: To all this Islam came as a vast relief and a solution of strain. I again feel cheated in my education for not having an appreciation of what was accomplished during the Middle Ages.

The Great Heresies

Now that we have seen heesies the spirit of Arianism was and what forces were in its favour, let us see how it got its name. Absolute government, especially in the hands of one man, would seem, on the surface, to be opposed to popular government.

Modernity is the greatest threat to Catholicism, according to Belloc, and is defined by materialism, heresues an accompanying skepticism. As I explained above, although the Emperor and his surrounding officials which I have called “the Court” were theoretically all powerful for the constitution was an absolute monarchy and men could not think in any other terms in those daysyet, at least as powerful, and less subject to change, was the army on which the whole of that society reposed.

He eliminated the Trinity altogether. Many a convert remained a debtor, many were still slaves. No one calls the mass of modern practice and affirmation upon divorce a heresy, but a heresy it clearly is because its determining characteristic is the denial of the Christian doctrine of marriage and the substitution therefore of another doctrine, to wit, that marriage is but a contract and a terminable contract.