God Rock Radio #267 – A Brief History of The Divine – Part 7 (Christian Heresy)

In the Middle Ages all over Europe there was a type of Christian rebellion as about one third of the populace sought out alternative versions of Christianity – in a search for spiritual reform and renewal. Jack “The Agnostic” Garcia chronicles this direct challenge to the very existence of the Orthrodox church itself.  Heresy took generations and sometimes centuries to define – and the heretic was condemned for refusing to conform at a time when there were no independent intellectual terrain where alternative viewpoints could be brought up and metaphysical, moral and social issues had to always remain within the recognized orthrodox christian framework – or else! Jack examines the main thrusts of the Medieval heretical movement and some of the great minds involved. For example – the concept of poverty which splits the Franciscan order into two opposing factions and give birth to the highly secretive Waldensian church. The need for church reform , a movement within the orthrodox chuch itself led to disillusioned priests who become charismatic wandering preachers whose radical views sometimes sparked off bloody uprisings and whose writings and theories were the precursors to Martin Luther and the Protestant reformers. Then its the role of mysticism in the heretical movement – for example , Meister Eckhart – who formulated the Western version of spiritual detachment and the search for God within the depths of ones own soul. And the Free Spirit movement , spiritual radicals who felt the the indulgence of the senses – especially lots of sexual activity without any limitations was the pathway to the divine. And last but not least – its The Cathars – whose strong Non-Christian tendencies distinguish them from all the other major heretical groups. Quickly growing wealthy and powerful – The Cathars – were considered such a threat to the Orthrodox Church that a Holy War ensued, utterly destroying The Cathars distinctive religion and culture.

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