How can I learn about the various "heresies" that have
arisen in the Christian Church during its 2000-year-old life? Is
there a . . . Dictionary of Heresies?
In my pocket-sized book A Basic Christian Dictionary
(Canterbury Press), there is a necessarily brief article on
Heresies, which divides them into those that over-emphasise one
Person of the Trinity; deny the unity of the three Persons; deny
the equality of the three Persons, or deny the separateness of the
Persons; deny the unity/divinity of the Son; and deny the need for
grace in salvation.
Up to five examples in each group are named and described, and
some of them have brief entries elsewhere in my book.
To take it further, you could search for each heresy on the
internet, or look it up in Christianity: The complete
guide (John Bowden), The Oxford Dictionary of the
Christian Church (F. L. Cross and E. A. Livingstone), or
similar weighty volumes; or even in a secular encyclopaedia.
The Dictionary of Sects, Heresies, Ecclesiastical Parties,
and Schools of Religious Thought by John Henry Blunt was
published in 1874, and a facsimile reprint is available in
paperback or on Kindle, but it is bafflingly comprehensive.
(The Revd) Michael Counsell Northfield, Birmingham
May I recommend Heresies and How to Avoid Them: Why it
matters what Christians believe, edited by Ben Quash and
Michael Ward (SPCK, 2007). It covers all the great heresies, and,
since it is based on a series of sermons, the issues are clearly
and thoroughly explored.
Frank Conley (Reader)
Dictionaries of the Christian Church and books on Christian
theology contain useful articles on the various heresies. But, for
a more detailed explanation, try to get hold of the book The
Four Great Heresies (Nestorian, Eutychian, Apollinarian,
Arian) by J. W. C. Wand, DD (Mowbray, 1955). While there may be
other, more recent writings on the subject, Bishop Wand's book -
derived from his 1954 Lent Lectures - is both clear and highly
Alison Rollin, Ruislip
I think that Archbishop Michael Ramsey was asked that question
and replied "Hymns Ancient and Modern."
(The Very Revd) Mark Bonney, Ely
[In Trevor Beeson's Round the Church in Fifty Years
(SCM Press, 2007), it is the 1969 supplement 100 Hymns for
Today that is the butt of Ramsey's joke. Editor]
Why has the Feast of Christ the King, which apparently
originated as recently as 1925, risen to such prominence? Was it
devised (partly) in order to rehabilitate the idea and the
institution of monarchy after the cataclysm of the First World
Research by my husband's family into their ancestors has
produced a copy of a marriage certificate from 1880. Four witnesses
are named, two of them family members, judging by their surnames.
Two other witnesses' names are written in smaller writing, their
names not corresponding to those of bride or groom - but underneath
the lower name are the words in brackets "Nepromucent Barton".
Barton is the bridegroom's name, but what would Nepromucent
M. A. E. B.
A late acquaintance of mine, a minor canon of St Paul's,
some 45 years ago described himself as Minor Canon and Senior
Cardinal. The incumbent of St Magnus the Martyr, in the City of
London, describes himself as Cardinal Rector. What, please, is the
significance of the term "Cardinal" herewith? Clearly it has no
connection with current usage.
R. W. C.
Address for answers and more questions: Out of the Question,
Church Times, 3rd floor, Invicta House, 108-114 Golden
Lane, London EC1Y 0TG.
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