God's Jury

God's Jury

The Inquisition and the Making of the Modern World

Book - 2012
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"The Inquisition is a dark mark in the history of the Catholic Church. But it was not the first inquisition nor the last, as Cullen Murphy shows in this far-ranging, informed, and (dare one say?) witty account of its reach down to our own time, in worldly affairs more than ecclesiastical ones." -- Margaret O'Brien Steinfels, former editor, Commonweal

The Inquisition conducted its last execution in 1826 -- the victim was a Spanish schoolmaster convicted of heresy. But as Cullen Murphy shows in this provocative new work, not only did its offices survive into the twentieth century, in the modern world its spirit is more influential than ever.

God's Jury encompasses the diverse stories of the Knights Templar, Torquemada, Galileo, and Graham Greene. Established by the Catholic Church in 1231, the Inquisition continued in one form or another for almost seven hundred years. Though associated with the persecution of heretics and Jews -- and with burning at the stake -- its targets were more numerous and its techniques more ambitious. The Inquisition pioneered surveillance and censorship and "scientific" interrogation. As time went on, its methods and mindset spread far beyond the Church to become tools of secular persecution. Traveling from freshly opened Vatican archives to the detention camps of Guantánamo to the filing cabinets of the Third Reich, Murphy traces the Inquisition and its legacy.

With the combination of vivid immediacy and learned analysis that characterized his acclaimed Are We Rome? , Murphy puts a human face on a familiar but little-known piece of our past, and argues that only by understanding the Inquisition can we hope to explain the making of the present.
Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012.
ISBN: 9780618091560
Branch Call Number: 272.2 MURPH
Characteristics: 310 p.


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Jul 27, 2016

"Moral certainty is always a sign of cultural inferiority. The more uncivilized the man, the surer he is that he knows precisely what is right and what is wrong. All human progress, even in morals, has been the work of men who have doubted the current moral values, not of men who have whooped them up and tried to enforce them. The truly civilized man is always skeptical and tolerant, in this field as in all others. His culture is based on "I am not too sure.""
H.L. Mencken 1880-1956

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