Definitions for: Heresy

[n] a belief that rejects the orthodox tenets of a religion
[n] any opinions or doctrines at variance with the official or orthodox position

Webster (1913) Definition: Her"e*sy, n.; pl. Heresies. [OE. heresie, eresie, OF.
heresie, iresie, F. h['e]r['e]sie, L. haeresis, Gr. ? a
taking, a taking for one's self, choosing, a choice, a sect,
a heresy, fr. ? to take, choose.]

1. An opinion held in opposition to the established or
commonly received doctrine, and tending to promote a
division or party, as in politics, literature, philosophy,
etc.; -- usually, but not necessarily, said in reproach.

New opinions Divers and dangerous, which are
heresies, And, not reformed, may prove pernicious.

After the study of philosophy began in Greece, and
the philosophers, disagreeing amongst themselves,
had started many questions . . . because every man
took what opinion he pleased, each several opinion
was called a heresy; which signified no more than a
private opinion, without reference to truth or
falsehood. --Hobbes.

2. (Theol.) Religious opinion opposed to the authorized
doctrinal standards of any particular church, especially
when tending to promote schism or separation; lack of
orthodox or sound belief; rejection of, or erroneous
belief in regard to, some fundamental religious doctrine
or truth; heterodoxy.

Doubts 'mongst divines, and difference of texts,
From whence arise diversity of sects, And hateful
heresies by God abhor'd. --Spenser.

Deluded people! that do not consider that the
greatest heresy in the world is a wicked life.

3. (Law) An offense against Christianity, consisting in a
denial of some essential doctrine, which denial is
publicly avowed, and obstinately maintained.

A second offense is that of heresy, which consists
not in a total denial of Christianity, but of some
its essential doctrines, publicly and obstinately
avowed. --Blackstone.

Note: ``When I call dueling, and similar aberrations of
honor, a moral heresy, I refer to the force of the
Greek ?, as signifying a principle or opinion taken up
by the will for the will's sake, as a proof or pledge
to itself of its own power of self-determination,
independent of all other motives.'' --Coleridge.

Synonyms: heterodoxy, unorthodoxy

Antonyms: orthodoxy

See Also: disbelief, iconoclasm, nonconformance, nonconformity, orientation, unbelief

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