Grapho : Concordia Seminary Student Journal

Document Type



arius, church history, athanasius, heretics, enns, theology, gaddis, nicaea, alexandria

Submission Type

Bible Study; Lecture; Sermon Prep


Church history, much like any other kind of history, is an exercise in meaning-making and identity creation. As Anglican theologian, Rowan Williams, writes regarding Church history, “We begin with a sense of identity that is in some way fragile or questionable, and we embark on the enterprise of history to make it clearer and more secure. In the process, of course, definitions may change a good deal, but the aim is to emerge with some fuller sense of who we are.”1 This is quite obviously true when we tell stories about the heroes of the faith: Irenaeus, Martin Luther, C. F. W. Walther, and so on, but it is no less true when we tell stories about the villains of the faith, that is, heretics. The church’s identity and doctrine have been shaped in no small part due to her reaction to heretics. This is why heretics make up a significant part of the way Christians retell their own history, whether at an academic or popular level. Therefore, anyone who participates in retelling the story of the church does well to pay attention even to how they tell the story of heretics to ensure that the telling of these stories serves the church.


Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion

Submission Cost


Submission Audience

Laity; Ministers; Scholars