booknotice (occasioned by Civility on the List: "heresy"discussion)

Steve Farmer saf at SAFARMER.COM
Tue Oct 10 20:07:36 UTC 2000

Jan Houben wrote:

> how did "hairesis" -- originally a rather neutral concept --  get its
> heavy
> connotations of terror and reprobation?

Steven Hodge responded:

> It first gained its negative overtones in the hands of the early
> Church Fathers around the 2nd - 3rd century CE when they were
> attacking rival brands of Christianity.

I just returned from a conference and saw all these posts from
last week on heresy issues -- including several on cross-cultural
questions. The most comprehensive cross-cultural study on
heresiography is the recent monograph by a collaborator of mine,
the sinologist John B. Henderson. John's book discusses about
everything *except* Indian traditions, on which he felt not
enough research had yet been done to say much. His
bibliographical references to heresy issues in Europe, the Middle
East, and China are extensive; on the evolution of concepts of
heresy, see the index on pp. 257-8.

The book: John B. Henderson, _The Construction of Orthodoxy and
Heresy: Neo-Confucian, Islamic, Jewish, and Early Christian
Patterns_ (Albany, N.Y.: State University of New York Press), 1998.

Steve Farmer

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