Heresy in Early Christian Church

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Conclusion: The attitude toward heresy and the reason for its formation and the church’s opposition to it is stated in general terms.Heresy was the term used to characterize those groups of religious sects that challenged in some way or another, the ideology that came to be accepted at orthodox Christianity. While many of the heretic groups differed in their beliefs and norms they were united by a common notion that the Church did not represent their particular values and beliefs. They were predisposed to reject and isolate themselves from the Church and its one-dimensional views of Christianity. The Church, in turn, viewed these detractors as heretics and rejected them, isolating them and persecuting them for their dissension.The Church itself, while adamantly opposed to heresy did not go beyond identifying these groups. The persecution of these groups was left entirely up to governmental control. The Church would merely turn heretics over to the secular government and leave it with the political establishment to run interference. Allegations and persecution of heretics became prevalent during the period spanning from 1100-1500.2 In order to understand the prevalence of heresy in the Early Christian Church during this period this study will focus on the heretic groups evolving during this time. These groups reflect the socio-economic and political climate existing at the time and how these movements and ideologies influenced the emergence of heresy and the Church’s opposition to it. The relevant groups are the Beguines, the Cathars, the Hussites, the Joachimites, the Lollards and the Waldensians.During The Middle Ages, women were expected to conform to a male-dominated society. Conventional wisdom at the time dictated that women adhere to the rigid strictures of the good wife and/or mother in a Medieval household guarded by the dominant male. Another accepted method of male guardianship was under the auspices of the Church by virtue of the orthodox convents.