Heresy Conceptual Sheet

3 Oct

This is ahistorical, but I think understanding the concepts will help us to make sense of history.


Heresy Overview Sheet


  1. Formal and Material Heresy – See Chapter 4


  1. Heresies are normally defined as a place that is beyond the spectrum of acceptable positions on issues such as Christology, the Trinity or Ecclesiology (the study of the Church).  For instance, it is possible to have a low Christology (emphasizing the humanity of Jesus Christ) or high Christology (emphasizing the divinity of Jesus Christ) and be within the acceptable range of Catholic positions on Christology.


  1. Heresies tend to fall outside of the boundaries of the box.  The Church may define what one is not to believe, but rarely will the Church endorse a single explanation.

Acceptable Spectrum of Beliefs within the Box











Heresies Lie Outside of the Spectrum


  1. Christology – Jesus is One Person with Two Natures – Human and Divine


    1. Person –


    1. Nature –


    1. Typical Heresies


i.     Deny Humanity


ii.     Deny Divinity



  1. Trinitarian Formulations – God is Three Persons with One Nature


    1. Homoousian



    1. Modalism is a Heresy




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