THE HERETICS by Walter Nigg


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Had Walter Nigg been as major in insights as he is in information, The Heretics would have been a notable event. Essentially the examination covers those theological and historical stages of the persecuted ""truth"", embracing apostates, schismatics, and teachers of heterodoxy as they relate to the promulgations of the Church from the Early Fathers to the Reformation foreshadowings, and the scope is splendid, the approach admirable, centering on the unorthodox as the key to orthodoxy's health, whether it be the searchings of Simon Magus (Helen of Troy as mother-of-all in successive incarnations) or the Gnostics (salvations thru ""eons""; the supposed damned- sodomites, Cain, Esau- being instruments of regeneration), Emperor Julian (public profession of paganism) or Marcion (the Old Covenant God creating a world of hate, the Stranger God bearing one of love), the dialectics of good and evil (Manicheanism, Albigensianism) or the dichotomy between scriptural interpretation and the living Christ (the just man, not the sinful man, as the true enemy of the gospel). Amidst Holy Wars and Crusades, witches and wolfish men, black mass and the Inquisition, patristic jugglers and mystic charlatans, all men and movements (at times so close to Kierkegaard and Nietzsche, Holderlin and Novalis, even Camus and Sartre) emerge in a blaze of startling ideas, daring ""profanations"". A fascinating, frenetic source book, pungent, provocative.

Pub Date: June 11th, 1962
Publisher: Knopf