Saturday, March 20, 2010

The ongoing relevance of ancient heresies

Today, the language of heresy is most often used in irony, humour or as a critical description of the activities of those who are perceived to be too judgemental (i.e. taking the category of heresy seriously today indicates that one is probably guilty of self-importance and silencing the voice of the other).

Sam Norton has started a series in which he is articulating why one ancient Christian heresy (known as Donatism) has great relevance for us today, particularly in light of the recent controversies concerning sexual abuse by Catholic priests. You can read his first post here. Sam shows that in this case, the heretics dangerous mistake was being too judgemental! This illustrates something of the irony about our modern inability to take the category of heresy without irony.

I would love for Sam to continue his series with some consideration of the contemporary relevance of other ancient heresies, which continue to be important guideposts in our ongoing pursuit of living together well as human beings and followers of Christ.