About the Society » ISHS: International Society for Heresy Studies

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About the Society

The International Society for Heresy Studies is an organization founded to support the study of the meanings, functions, and histories of heretical belief systems, especially their expression in literature and art. The Society further aims to illuminate the legal, artistic, social, and moral ramifications of blasphemy and iconoclasm, as manifested in literary and artistic works. It also encourages scholarship on non-God-centric secular visions, and it fosters inquiries into atheist critiques of theism. Finally, the Society supports work that tries to determine what happens to blasphemy and heresy when religion is conceived in more material terms such as ethnicity, tradition, ritual, or lifestyle.

The Society does not promote the study of heresy in order to advance Christian (or other theistic) apologetics, nor does it seek to explore heretical, blasphemous, or atheist views in order to condemn them. It equally does not agitate against religion but invites contributions to the understanding of heresy, blasphemy, and unbelief from both believers and unbelievers.

To contact the Society, please email .


  • President: Robert Royalty
  • Vice-president: Bernard Schweizer
  • Secretary-treasurer: John Holloway
  • Digital Curator and Communications Manager: Rob Heaton
  • Past President: Gregory Erickson


  • Artist representative: James Morrow
  • Creative writing program representative: Lorna Gibb
  • Faith representative: David Dickinson
  • Secularism representative: Rebecca N. Goldstein
  • Literary criticism representative: James Wood
  • Theology representative: Valentine Cunningham
  • Religion and politics representative: Jordan Miller
  • Popular culture representative: Gregory Erickson
  • Graduate student representative: Ethan Quillen

The International Society for Heresy Studies is registered in the United States as a 501 (c) (3) tax exempt organization.

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