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Theology - Ancient Heresies


Assignment in Brief

Research your assigned heresy. You will write a brief (2 page minimum) paper and participate in an in-class debate about the heresy.

Written Assignment: Answer the following questions

Both partners: Define the heresy. What does it say about Christ/God/the Church/etc.? What is the issue at stake with this belief?

Advocate of the Heresy: Explain the reasoning of the proponents of this viewpoint.

Advocate of the Church: What is the Church's response? Why does the Church say that it is a heresy?

Both partners: Imagine what a church would be like that is based on your heresy. Follow through with all of the logical implications -- how would it change the understanding of Jesus, Mary, the Holy Trinity, Church practice (whatever is applicable? How would it change our understanding of the way we relate to God or our ability to get to heaven? How would it change our understanding of each other, and our call to love one another? 


In-Class Debate: You and your partner will debate the heresy, one taking the side of those espousing the heresy, and one taking the side of Church teaching.

You will need to present all information necessary for your classmates to take complete notes on the note-taking handout (below)

  • What did the proponents of this viewpoint claim? Why?
  • What was the viewpoint of the Church? Why?
  • If this heresy is believed, what are the impacts upon belief about Jesus, Mary, the Holy Trinity, the Church, our ability to get to heaven, Church practice, and/or how we relate to one another?