Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

2020 Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming


  • Elisa Bernal CorleyEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-24348-7_482

“Orthodoxy” means “right belief.” The term comes from the combined Greek words orthos, meaning “right, true, straight,” and doxa, meaning “praise.” In early Christian history, it was used in contrast with heresy, which literally means “choice.” The classical view of orthodoxy refers to the right belief that Jesus taught his disciples and handed down by them to the leaders of the Christian church. Its most basic form is found in the creedal statements adopted by the four ecumenical councils of the early Church and held by the majority of the believers in early Christian period.

In the history of Christianity, belief in orthodoxy is tied with the idea of primacy or originality. Early Christian theologians emphasized the view that orthodoxy is primaryand heresies are deviations and corruptions of the original and pure orthodoxy. Eusebius, Bishop of Caesarea (263–339 CE), established this view of orthodoxy during the time of Emperor Constantine (c. 275–337). The former is considered the...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Argyle, M. (2000). Psychology and religion. London/New York: Routledge Press.Google Scholar
  2. Chan, W.-T. (1987). Chu-Hsi. Life and thought. Hong Kong: Chinese University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Ehrman, B. D. (2003). Lost Christianities. The battles for scripture and the faiths we never knew. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Henderson, J. B. (1998). The construction of orthodoxy and heresy. Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  5. Pargament, K. I. (1997). The psychology of religion and coping. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  6. Schumaker, J. F. (1992). Religion and mental health. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Tu, W.-M. (1996). Confucian tradition in East Asian modernity. Moral education and economic culture in Japan and the four mini-dragons. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CastaicUSA