Sound and Silence

when necessary, use words


April 2008

The blessings of heresy

This post forms part of a synchroblog, “Emerging Heresy”. For other contributors, see below.

Now I’m just a scullery etymologist (someone interested in words) but right up front I’d like to cut to the meaning of this word heresy, as supplied by wikipedia:

The word “heresy” comes from the Greek αἵρεσις, hairesis (from αἱρέομαι, haireomai, “choose”).

In actual usage then, it indicates either “a choice of beliefs or a faction of believers”. Do read the whole article; it lays a good foundation of this discussion.

If we can accept that heresy simply means choice, then I would propose that any authentic act of faith, or a decision to live within a certain myth, amounts to heresy. Continue reading “The blessings of heresy”


The life-cycle of heresy

This post forms part of a synchroblog, “Emerging Heresy”. For other contributors, see below.

A nanoplay in 8 acts.

  • Someone has a “revelation”: enter the prophet / shaman / seer/ discoverer/ inventor/ author/ entrepreneur.
  • A community forms around the revelation: enter the evangelist / apostle / articulator / raconteur.
  • The community grows and becomes a politic, which needs to be organised: enter the pastor / priest / curate/ administrator / coordinator.
  • Part of this organisation is to describe the doctrine of the group: enter the scribe / theoretician / expert.
  • These laws become reinforced in the consciousness of the group, as an empire grows: enter the teacher / policy maker / marketeer / spin doctor / taste maker.
  • Someone has a revelation, as a critic of this consciousness, or just because truth is always emerging: re-enter the prophet / shaman stage left. But simultaneously something else happens:
  • The judge / inquisitor / policeman comes on stage right. A trial begins. Outcome:
  • The new revelation is accepted and the group reforms and adjusts its doctrine and practice.
  • If that revelation is contrary to the groups current doctrine (conscious/overt laws) or ethos (unconscious mores and taboos), enter the executioner, announce the new revelation as heresy, and the prophet/shaman as heretic, excommunicate the prophet, demonise the revelation, and begin the inevitable demise of the empire. 

Jesus was a dissident

Contributors to the synchroblog

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