I have been keeping a list of heresies for a while now. This is work in progress, but I just discovered how to create html tables so here I’m experimenting. Do let me know if you can improve the definition of any heresy of if you spot a missing heresy by emailing me.


Heresy Mistaken Belief Heretic(s)
Paganism That other Gods are real
Manicheanism The Creator God is evil, creation is to be overcome
Donatism The church must remain spiritually pure and exclude those who sin. Donatus
Modalism Father, Son and Spirit are all modes of one being
Arianism Jesus is a being less than the Father Arius
Nestorianism Jesus has a split identity with a distinct divine person within the human form Nestorius
Eutychianism Jesus is a new being, a hybrid between the divine and the human Eutyches
Monarchism (or Sabellianism) God is single
Pelagianism There is no need for grace; we can earn salvation Pelagius, Caelestius, Rufinus
Monophysitism Jesus and God are of one nature
Monotheletism Jesus was filled with the divine will
Montanism The end of the world is at hand Tertullian
Gnosticism Creation is evil, but there is an occult knowledge which will bring salvation
Marcionism The Old Testament is false, Judaism should be left behind, the God of the Old Testament is overcome Marcion
Doceticism Jesus was pure spirit
Syncretism Reconciling incompatible and foreign beliefs and stories with Christian truth
Patripassianism God the Father suffered along with God the Son.
Erastianism Church should be subservient to the state Erastus
Acacianism The Holy Ghost did not proceed from the Father and the Father is greater than the Son Acacius
Adoptionism Jesus is the double Son of God, by generation (or nature) but as human, by adoption and grace
Theopaschitism It is possible for the divine nature of the Son to suffer
Heresy of the Free Spirit Human perfection is the annihilation of one’s will and replacement by God’s will.
Irenism That doctrinal differences can be erased through peaceful merging of systems
Monarchianism God reveals himself in different ways through history
Hegelianism (and Marxism) God is revealed through historical process Hegel, Marx and Schelling
Chiliasm Christ’s Kingdom will be this-wordly
Pyrrhonism Nothing can be know – extreme scepticism Pyrrho et al.
Socinianism Rejection of Trinity and Christ’s divinity Socinus
Psilanthropism Jesus is only human
Unitarianism Opposed to the Trinity
Ebionitism The Jewish law has not been overcome, Jesus is in the line of prophets
Binitarianism Only two persons in the Godhead (Christ & Father)
Valentinism Form of Gnosticism, creation by the Demiurge (lower-creator God), Jesus came lead us back to true (higher) God Valentinus
Sethian Gnosticism Seth was the true son of Adam, lower God (Yaldoath) raped Eve and fathered Cain and Abel
Catharism Gnostic sect Bogomil
Jovinianism Extreme rejection of asceticism Jovinian
Waldensianism Reform movement, challenging church Valdes
Arminianism Calvinist group which did not believe ‘election’ was total
Collyridianism Mary treated as a deity and thrid person of Trinity
Antiochenism Christ’s humanity divided from the Divinity (cf. Nestorianism)
philo-Arian Denied the divinity of Christ
Panentheism The whole universe in which humans live is just one small part of the infinte reality of God Karl Christian Friedrich Krause
Cynicism We must live according to nature, not by artificial rules Diogenes, Crates
Stoicism Nature is normative and rational behaviour follows the proper course of nature Zeno, Chrysippus
Epicureanism Life is about living with as much pleasure, and as little pain, as possible Epicurus
Scepticism There is no certainty in any philosophical theory (and one should therefore withhold assent to all) Pyrrho