The Great Heresies [Hilaire Belloc] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Hilaire Belloc examines the five most destructive heretical movements. In this new edition of a classic work, the great Catholic apologist and historian Hilaire Belloc examines the five most destructive heretical movements in. 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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It is often said that all heresies die. Belloc wrote this in The story of all the first lifetime, and a little more, after the original rush-the story of the Mohammedan government such as it was so long as it was centred in Damascus, is a story of successive intrigue and murder.

Yet it is one which is, unfortunately, left almost entirely undiscussed in the modern world. In order to get the answer to the problem we must remark in what the fortunes of Islam have differed from those of all the other great heresies, and when we remark that I think we shall have the clue to the truth.

The Great Heresies – Wikisource, the free online library

Materialism, agnosticism and atheism at unprecedented hetesies in the West? Mohammed repackaged the key components of Catholicism the omnipotence of God, the immortality of the soul, punishment and reward after deathbut denied the Incarnation of Christ. That would be true. Millions of modern people of the white civilization-that is, the civilization of Europe and America-have forgotten all about Islam.

Hilaire Belloc was one of the most important and versatile authors of the 20th century. Reformation is better still. Protestantism especially Calvinismwhich rather than a typical heresy is a bunch of different denials of different basic Catholic tenets, its different branches united by a common hate to Catholicism. When we hear the word “heresies”, we tend to think of distant centuries filled with religious quarrels that seemed important at the time but are no longer relevant.


They had bred vast social evils which went from bad to worse, until men, without consciously appreciating the ultimate cause of those evils which cause is, of course, spiritual and religious at any rate found the evils unendurable. What was the cause of his success?


This paradox was due to a cause you will find at work in many forms of conflict. The Mohammedan struggle was a very close thing; hwresies nearly swamped us; only the armed reaction in Spain, followed by the Crusades, gteat the full triumph of Islam. The answer lies in the very nature of the Mohammedan conquest. The schisms are as much attacks upon the life of the Catholic Church as are the heresies; the greatest schism of all, the Greek or Orthodox, which has produced the Greek or Orthodox communion, is manifestly a disruption of our strength.

There is thus bellof very great deal in common between the enthusiasm with which Mohammed’s teaching attacked the priesthood, the Mass and the sacraments, and the enthusiasm with which Calvinism, the central motive force of the Reformation, did the same.

He lived to be seventy-six or seventy-seven years of age, dying in A. I picked The Great Heresies as the first book to read by Belloc because it was mentioned several times in Chesterton’s biography. There are more Catholics going to church each Sunday in England than Protestants — even though those who are at least nominally Protestant constitute herseies like sixty geeat cent of the country!

It was written injust before the revelation of the true nature of the Third Reich. When the few men who can think best and feel most strongly and who have mastery of expression begin to show a novel tendency towards this or that, then this or that bids fair to dominate the future. That is the main fact which accounts for the sudden spread of Islam after its first armed victory over the armies rather than the people of the Greek-speaking Eastern Empire.

Coherent, insightful and simply cogent!

Hilaire Belloc on The Great Heresies (Review)

But if the new principle be admitted, it might be contemporary after all, and therefore something to which it bore witness, in no way marvellous but not found in any other document, may be accepted as historical. Here are his first sentences:. It is the taking away from the moral scheme by which we have lived of a particular part, hilairf denial of ueresies part and the attempt to replace it by an innovation.


Again, inquiry heresis to be more free in the Protestant culture than in the Catholic, because there was no one united authority of doctrine; and though in the long run this was bound to lead to the break-up of philosophy and of all sound thinking, the first effects were stimulating and vitalizing.

Belloc, like Chesterton, was a Catholic, but I feel that Belloc was a bit more, hm, confrontational than Chesterton? Nov 30, Paul added it. But I think, whatever their human faults, they would have pleased many, many of the Saints.

Islam-the teaching of Mohammed-conquered immediately in arms. This text does not sugar coat mistakes and shows interesting effects of certain heresies up to the early ‘s. Christendom was under siege from Islam. Merely to say that Arianism was what it was doctrinally is to enunciate a formula, but not to give the thing itself. Yet the northern pirates were tamed, defeated and baptised by force.

To all this Islam came as a vast relief and a solution of strain. What is a heresy, and what is the historical importance of such a thing? The whole story of Europe, her various realms and states and general bodies during the last sixteen centuries has mainly turned beresies the successive heresies arising in the Christian world.

We might put it vividly enough in modern slang by saying that Arianism, thus vigorously present in the rgeat great discussions within the body of the Christian Church when first that Church achieved official support and became the official religion of the Empire, attracted all the “high-brows,” at least half the snobs and nearly all the sincere idealistic tories-the “die-hards”- whether nominally Christian or not.

One might sum up and say that the contrast between the Mohammedan world of those early centuries and the Christian world which it threatened to overwhelm was like the contrast between a modern industrialized state and a backward, half-developed state next door to it: