Blog: Heretics and the Scientology Inquisition - 2011-08-19
A heretic is a person who committed heresy.
Heresy (from Greek a??es?, which originally meant "choice") is a controversial or novel change to a system of beliefs, especially a religion, that conflicts with established dogma. It is distinct from apostasy, which is the formal denunciation of one's religion, principles or cause, and blasphemy, which is irreverence toward religion. The founder or leader of a heretical movement is called a heresiarch, while individuals who espouse heresy or commit heresy, are known as heretics. Heresiology is the study of heresy.
The word heresy is usually used within a Christian, Jewish, or Islamic context, and implies something slightly different in each. In certain historical Christian and Jewish cultures, heresy was punishable by law. In modern times, the word heresy is often used in jest and without religious context.