Religion: Theology's Underground

Heretics have always had a bad press.

Their writings banned, their bodies burned at the stake and their souls consigned to the justice of God, the rebels of Christianity have usually been reported to history through the prejudiced accounts of their vigilant, orthodox suppressors. Historian Walter Nigg, a Swiss Reformed pastor and former professor at the University of Zurich, believes that heretics were not necessarily bad men, and their doctrines not necessarily perversions of God's truth. In The Heretics (Knopf; $6.95). a vivid survey of the church's theological underground, he argues that Christianity owes much to its rebel sons, and has...

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