In Christianity, a heretic is one who holds a theological or religious opinion or doctrine in opposition or contrary to that which is considered as orthodox, or right doctrine. For example, one writer defines it in this manner: "A heretic is a baptized person who obstinately denies or doubts a truth which the Church teaches must be believed because it is part of the one, divinely revealed, and catholic (that is, universally valid) Christian faith." ^[1]^

Heretics usually do not define their own beliefs as heretical. Heresy is a value judgement expressing the view from within an established belief system. For instance, Roman Catholics generally held leading Protestants of the Reformation to be heretics.


  1. ? Ben Quash, "Prologue," in Heresies and How to Avoid Them, eds. Ben Quash and Michael Ward (Hendrickson, 2007), p. 1.

See also