|1.||An opinion held in opposition to the established or commonly received doctrine, and tending to promote a division or party, as in politics, literature, philosophy, etc.; - usually, but not necessarily, said in reproach.|
After the study of philosophy began in Greece, and the philosophers, disagreeing amongst themselves, had started many questions . . . because every man took what opinion he pleased, each several opinion was called a heresy; which signified no more than a private opinion, without reference to truth or falsehood.
|2.||(Theol.) Religious opinion opposed to the authorized doctrinal standards of any particular church, especially when tending to promote schism or separation; lack of orthodox or sound belief; rejection of, or erroneous belief in regard to, some fundamental religious doctrine or truth; heterodoxy.|
Doubts 'mongst divines, and difference of texts,
From whence arise diversity of sects,
And hateful heresies by God abhor'd.
|3.||(Law) An offense against Christianity, consisting in a denial of some essential doctrine, which denial is publicly avowed, and obstinately maintained.|
|Noun||1.||heresy - any opinions or doctrines at variance with the official or orthodox position|
|2.||heresy - a belief that rejects the orthodox tenets of a religion|
HERESY, Eng. law. The adoption of any erroneous religious tenet, not
warranted by the established church.
2. This is punished by the deprivation of certain civil rights, and by fine and imprisonment. 1 East, P. C. 4.
3. In other countries than England, by heresy is meant the profession, by Christians, of religious opinions contrary to the dogmas approved by the established church of the respective countries. For an account of the origin and progress of the laws against heresy, see Giannoni's Istoria di Napoli, vol. 3, pp, 250, 251, &c.
4. in the United State, happily, we have no established religion; there can, therefore, be no legal heresy. Vide Apostacy; Christianity.