Introduction: Heresy Scheme of This Book The Arian Heresy The Great and Enduring Heresy of Mohammed The Albigensian Attack What Was the Reformation?. In this new edition of a classic work, the great Catholic apologist and historian Hilaire Belloc examines the five most destructive heretical. The Great Heresies has ratings and 58 reviews. Ben said: Another eye opening history from a very readable writer. Hilaire Belloc was half English, ha.
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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Bwlloc Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. The Great Heresies by Hilaire Belloc. Here the great Catholic historian Hilaire Belloc analyzes 5 of heresirs greatest heresies of all time: Arianism, Mohammedanism IslamAlbigensianism, Protestantism, and “the Modern Attack,” showing that the world would be vastly different today if Arianism or Albigensianism had survived–and how it is different because Protestantism survived.
He predicts the re-emergence of I Here the great Catholic historian Hilaire Belloc analyzes 5 of the greatest heresies of all time: He predicts the re-emergence of Islam; explains how the Modern Hilakre is the worst threat to the Catholic Church ever.
Paperbackpages. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Great Heresiesplease sign up. Lists with This Book. Aug 03, Ben rated it it was amazing. Another eye opening history from a very readable writer. Hilaire Belloc was half English, half French, a one time MP and a prolific writer known as “the man who wrote a library”. Fortunately he did so in small volumes often broken down into self-contained chapters or essays, and wrote them very well, not only in content and structure but also with great wit and precision of language.
The size of his works belie the wealth of fact and insight they contain. The five Heresies which Belloc considors are issues upon which the history of the World hinged, and so in explaining them he explains in part something of the world today, and how and why it is as it is when it could have been extremely different.
His considoration of Islam back in the late ‘s early ‘s seems almost prescient or prophetic when read today. Though of course it was due to his historical knowlege and clear thinking, and a rejection of the confident attitude of racial and cultural superiority of his time. He clearly predicted that Islam would once again gain in strength and influence to be an important force in the world. Adam Shaw’s earlier review, though it could be said to be mostly true is misleading and less than helpfull.
Yes Hilaire Belloc was Catholic, and very proud of the fact. He wrote as a Catholic, not hiding his bias and making no false claims to being impartial or without prior opinion, thus allowing all his readers to follow his thoughts with open eyes and a questioning mind. He was not afraid of holding a position and defending it, not afraid of debate, eblloc his life well shows. If you are bigotted enough not to read him because of his Faith he himself would have been glad you have nothing to do with him.
He was angry about many things as any rational man or woman who truely looks at the world around them will be, whatever time they live in. He was especially angry about the unadmitted and unacknowledged anti-Catholic bias in the officailly accepted Whig version of Heeesies.
So much of his Historical work was and still is a reply to it from someone on the heresifs side of the debate about what happened in the past to bring us to the present, and how and why. Bare in mind whilst reading that he was a man of his time, before political correctness and the timidity of openly declared personal opinion which it has been one of it’s fruits. Grreat free of many of the prejudices of his day, like anyone he was not free of them all, remember; nor are you.
Also remember that Catholic enfranchisement was an issue not so far in the past as it is today and was one on which people had very strong views.
The Great Heresies
If i have not been clear above, i clearly greay now that I thoroughly recommend this book. May 22, Manuel Alfonseca rated it really liked it. Very good historical review hilakre the five great heresies against the Catholic Church along its history: Arianism, taken as a typical heresy of the first centuries that denied one or two important Catholic beliefs but kept the others. Islam, which started hilwire a simplification of Catholic tenets that started outside the Catholic realm, and ended as a separate religion.
One of the most lucid historical treatments hilaite Islam I have read, sometimes almost prophetic. Albigensians Catharisma reviv Very good historical review of the five great heresies against the Catholic Church along its history: Although Belloc does not mention it, the current attempt by nationalist Catalonians to defend them is just a show of historical ignorance.
Protestantism especially Calvinismwhich rather than a typical heresy is a bunch of different denials rhe different basic Catholic tenets, its different branches united by a common hate to Catholicism.
Although this has changed somewhat since Belloc wrote the booksome sediment of this can be observed even now 5. The present attack against Catholicism by the dominant ideology. This chapter could have been written now. Things are now much worse than when the book was written, but all the trends signaled in the book are quite visible now.
The Great Heresies
Nov 26, Jeff Miller rated it it was amazing. I’ve read a good amount of Belloc but this is my favorite by far. His exploration of the various heresies – Arian, Albengensian, Islam, Protestantism, etc is greatly insightful.
Especially his chapter on Islam where he predicts Islam coming back as a power. It is fascinating to read what he writes about why Islam as a Catholic heresy has been the only heresy with staying power, though he does not pretend to have all the answers. Belloc the historian is seen in force here as he discusses the dist I’ve read a good amount of Belloc but this is my favorite by far.
Belloc the historian is seen in force here as he discusses the distractive nature of heresy and what it does to civilization. Every chapter though has valuable information and puts a lot of things together historically. Jan 30, Matei rated it it was ok Shelves: I wanted to like this book, but sadly Belloch climbs his high horse in the introduction, and never quite makes up for it throughout the book.
It reads like apologetics, with simplified arguments, relying heavily on cheap rhetoric like repeating the same point over and over again in different forms to emphasize an idea, but the method of apologetic writing is presenting a religious worldview, using secular arguments, thereby approaching I wanted to like this book, but sadly Belloch climbs his high horse in the introduction, and never quite makes up for it throughout the book.
It reads like apologetics, with simplified arguments, relying heavily on cheap rhetoric like repeating the same point over and over again in different forms to emphasize an idea, but the method of apologetic writing is presenting a religious worldview, using secular arguments, thereby approaching and solving any objections the reader might have.
Belloch just regurgitates laughably biased views, without any regard nor discipline for the line of reasoning he is presenting. It feels more like a book that Catholics are supposed to read for a brief moment of self-indulgence and -righteousness.
The first heresy tackled is Arianism. It almost reads like a meme posting: Causes of heresy are laughably overgeneralized. In fact, the situation he is presenting is completely reversed when dealing with modernism, something he acknowledges in passing too little, too late, in the final pages of the book. The arguments always cut both ways, but this is never addressed and never justified. Gret, moving on, Islam. Er, the Mohammedan heresy.
So treating Islam as a heretical movement which sprang out of Christianity brings its own questions, which again never get an answer. Are we right then to distance ourselves from Judaism, the way the Church gelloc under Paulinian influence?
The Great Heresies – Wikisource, the free online library
These questions need to be answered for Bellochs arguments to work. A similar issue arises out of calling Hilaird an inherently violent religion.
Critics may very well point out heresis all the violence that was waged in the name of Catholicism? This needs to be addressed. Also, his criticism toward Mohammed could very well be applied to Jesus by an atheist critics, especially considering C. S Lewis lemma that He was either who He said He was, or a complete madman.
Now Belloch is praised for being quite prescient in predicting the current rise of Islam which will seek to dominate the Christian world. I have three problems with this: The religious reemergence in the Middle Heresied was not as predicted a movement against the dominating colonial powers, but against the weak secular governments established after european countries decided to mingle graet affairs by proxy rather than directly.
Therefore strife was channelled towards these failed states rather than against Christianity. The demographic changes in Europe are a by-product of the Muslim minority being stuck in an immigrant condition, sharing a lifestyle and culture with the working class, which generally has a higher birthrate than the middle class majority.
Violent, hereesies Islamic movements are characterised by being seen as heretical by all Muslim outsiders. I think Belloch would agree that it bellic strange to judge a faith based on its heresies. Albigensian chapter was ok, but went downhill fast at the end when he began once more to withhold information and manipulate how the narrative is presented to drive his point home.
The failures of the Catholic Church in Languedoc had important contributions to the resulting spread of the heresy the all familiar material abuses, conflated with improper wielding of power. There is also a very important discussion to be had about the human life loss that resulted from the Albigensian Crusade.
Without these things his arguments are very weak if not outright meaningless. Reformation is better still. Belloch even shows that he understands the problems of the Church that need to be addressed, if unity and relevance should be maintained: It is rather sad that though they beoloc enumerated, they are never contextualized within each heretical movement and its response.
Some issues are ignored such as the necessity of reformers to involve secular powers, lest they are completely destroyed by a Church unwilling to change and adapt.
Belloch also spends a few paragraphs judging the world in terms of a Protestant part, which fell to usury, thereby gaining power, and a Catholic part which suffered more because of its stronger dependence on a now weakened Church as an explanation of the contemporary state of the world.
The same view of a materialistic money obsessed and usury filled countries that he applies to Protestant countries, could very well have been applied to Catholic countries a few centuries earlier.
The last chapter deals with the Modern Heresy, the overall secularization of Europe and the increasing adoption of an atheist worldview by western citizens. The reason why this is happening is never really addressed, Belloch resumes to just naming the Reformation, the loss of authority by the Church as the main factors in driving this change.
There are certain arguments or methods which are general to all chapters: In a way Belloch seems to be driven by a desire to exalt the Church with no regard about the danger of sacrificing the very values the Church upholds in the process.