Chapter

Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy: A Worn Vocabulary Explored

Ian Richard Netton

in Islam, Christianity and Tradition

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print December 2006 | ISBN: 9780748623914
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748653119 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748623914.003.0002
Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy: A Worn Vocabulary Explored

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Earlier Western commentators on Islam have had few problems in deploying such terms as ‘orthodoxy’ and ‘heterodoxy’ with complete freedom, as if they were immediately self-explicable. Both Christianity and Islam teach obedience to God's authority and man's properly constituted and delegated authority. From the former spring what the theologians will construe and articulate as right doctrines in all their glorious diversity; from the latter spring what the statesmen and politicians will establish as right order. The case of Arius and Arianism is profoundly instructive in any study of the exercise of early Church authority and the establishment in that age of what were perceived to be ‘right doctrines’. In an age of sects and heresies — Manichaeism, Pelagianism, Donatism — whose teachings, as Augustine knew from personal experience, could be particularly attractive, there was a profound need to maintain and respect the authority of the established Church.

Keywords: Islam; authority; Christianity; orthodoxy; heterodoxy; right doctrines; Arius; Arianism; Augustine; Manichaeism

Chapter.  31541 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

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