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The War On Heresy: Faith and Power in Medieval Europe Hardcover – 15 Mar 2012


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Profile Books (15 Mar. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846681960
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846681967
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3.6 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 337,099 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

Thrilling, unsettling, revelatory (Tom Holland, author of 'Millennium: The End of the World and the Forging of Christendom')

Beautifully written, measured, searching, and sublimely free from jargon (René Weis, Professor of English, University College London, and author of 'The Yellow Cross: The Story of the Last Cathars, 1290-1329')

A masterfully researched and deeply thought book that tells its exciting and still relevant story with verve and with sympathy for the victims of the war on heresy (Anders Winroth, Professor of History, Yale University, and author of 'The Conversion of Scandinavia')

A brilliant and sobering meditation... The War on Heresy is a triumph (Conrad Leyser Standpoint 2012-03-01)

Moore makes a very powerful case ... If only half of his revolutionary new claims are accepted, every encyclopaedia entry on the Cathars will gave to be completely rewritten. (Noel Malcolm Sunday Telegraph 2012-03-25)

Moore's latest book is as good, and as provocative, as anything he has produced ... The book is one of the finest accounts of medieval heresy that you are likely to encounter ... serves to enhance Moore's status as one of the finest historians of medieval heresy. (Jonathan Wright BBC History Magazine 2012-05-01)

A very important book (John Arnold History Today 2012-05-01)

A lucid narrative, rich in anecdote ... elegant and intelligent (Nicholas Vincent Literary Review 2012-05-01)

Moore makes a very powerful case in this new study and if some of his revolutionary new claims are accepted, many views on the Cathars will have to be revised. (John Hinton Catholic Herald 2012-06-15)

Remarkable . . . a brilliant demonstration of the infinitely challenging truth that the questions we ask profoundly shape the answers we find (Helen Castor THES 2012-07-19)

A brilliant book (Paul Richardson Church of England Newspaper 2012-11-04)

The problem here is that of course our own scholarly constructions, not least of medieval Catharism, can be no less rickety [than fictional ones as in The Name of the Rose], an enduring problem recently tackled by one of the great heresiarch-turned-pontiffs of the field, R. I. Moore. (Andrew Roach and James R. Simpson Heresy and the Making of European Culture: Medieval and Modern Perspectives 2013-09-17)

Book Description

A passionate history of the great war on heresy which dominated medieval Europe.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Garwood Yardley on 3 May 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
On the face of it, this excellently researched volume on Heresy in Medieval Europe appears to be the sort of dry, scholarly book associated with history geeks. Obviously the reader will be someone who has an interest in history or, someone researching religious movements and the Albigensian Crusade in Europe. Hidden within however, is a revealing and interesting, story of how modern European states came into being while highlighting the anxieties, self-doubt and neuroses of medieval European society. Well worth a perusal by the general reader wishing to increase their knowledge of the European psyche.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Keen Reader TOP 100 REVIEWER on 24 July 2013
Format: Hardcover
After reading around the growth of Christianity and the repression of various `pagan' beliefs, I found it interesting to consider the appearance of heresy; whereas various pagan belief systems had for centuries existed side by side, with the growth of Christianity it became more prevalent for those who were not Christians according to a prescribed and approved understanding of the same to be considered `outside' religion, or heretics. Pagans still existed, but if you were not pagan, and were not considered a `correct' Christian, clearly you had to fall somewhere else - you became a heretic.

By the eleventh century, from when the action in this book really kicks off, Western Europe was predominantly Roman Catholic, and the Pope and Church had representatives in every kingdom. During the eleventh century, proceedings against `heretics' picked up in a big way; yet, as the author points out, many of these proceedings were politically motivated against the ruler or powers that protected the victims that were accused of heresy. So heresy became a way to embarrass or undermine those in authority. There were also, of course, purely religious accusations - and those most well known during the medieval period were against the Cathars and the Waldensians.

This is a most interesting book, which gives the reader much to ponder. It is not particularly easy to read; not that it is a dense, scholarly book, rather that much of the work covers new ways of looking at concepts and new interpretations that you need to consider closely as you progress through the book. Thus, it is probably most beneficial to approach if you already have a working knowledge of Medieval Europe and some of the major features and players of the time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By markr TOP 500 REVIEWER on 25 Jan. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have rather mixed feelings about this book. As a general reader I found it quite heavy going, and indeed it took me rather a long time to complete it, although i did learn much about the preoccupations of medieval europe, and the way in which accusations of heresy were used for political purposes as well by those who were sincerely motivated by a desire to resist, as they saw it, the work of the devil.

Taking each campaign of action against heresy in turn, the author shows how there was little in the way of an organised Cathar grouping, but that there was quite widespread support for a range of beliefs that were consdidered heretical by the Catholic church - refusing to eat meat, or to engage in proctreative activity were rather dangerous positions for people to take.

Overall this series of analyses can be a little pedanatic, as the author concedes in the afterward, but for those with strong knowledge of the period there is likely to much of interest and to stimulate further debate
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By S. W. Trinder on 3 Sept. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a new departure on this subject. Previously many historians have concentrated on understanding the belief systems
of the heretics. Where the sources survive this is still quite difficult to write as heretics suffer from a bad press composed mainly not by sympathetic writers but by their enemies. This is where this work starts as it explores the hostile context (where the sources survive)around each case written by opponents of the heresy. According to this historian this is a new departure for most medieval heresies. I always have before me the case of Jeanne d'Arc who was burnt for 'heresy' for military /political reasons by the English. This is fundamental in studying this subject as the scrutiny of source material deciding where bias lies is absolutely basic in historical writing. I remember the very first essay I was set as an undergraduate student at Portsmouth Poly was to decide how valid Machiavelli's view of Ferdinand of Aragon and Cesare Borgia was in The Prince. How previous historians have missed the hostile contexts of heretical groups remains to be explained. Lambert's work is still the very best on the Cathars as is Wakefield
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 1 review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
All Christians Should Read This One 22 Dec. 2012
By Linda McMillan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a great book about power, politics, and the misappropriation of religion in medieval Europe. You can forget all that stuff you learned about the heresies in college, this book gives a much more robust picture of the socio-political milieu in which the big heresy hunts were conducted. It's short, very readable, and ties things together nicely. I'm giving it a big recommendation.
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