God's Jury: The Inquisition and the Making of the Modern World Hardcover – 2 Feb 2012
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Lucid and provocative...a clear and often chilling guide to the inquisition's excesses...a cogent and powerful book...a persuasive argument that we still live in the world the inquisition made (Dominic Sandbrook Sunday Times)
A grand and scary tour of inquisitorial moments, racing back and forth in history from Torquemada to Dick Cheney, and from Guantánamo to Rome; we are there when Giordano Bruno is burned to death, on the orders of Cardinal Bellarmine, and then we are asked to compare our own readiness to torture when what we fear threatens us. Murphy's point [is] entirely convincing...[his] tone is calm, even good-humored, but he can vibrate to the victims' preserved cries for mercy (Adam Gopnik New Yorker)
In his typically compelling style.....Murphy powerfully shows that the impulse to inquisition can quietly take root in any system-civil or religious-that orders our lives (Publisher's Weekly)
Cullen Murphy's account of the Inquisition is a dark but riveting tale, told with luminous grace. The Inquisition, he shows us, represents more than a historical episode of religious persecution.The drive to root out heresy and sin, once and for all, is emblematic of the modern age and a persisting danger in our time (Michael J. Sandel, author of Justice: What's the Right Thing to Do?)
God's Jury is a reminder, and we need to be constantly reminded, that the most dangerous people in the world are the righteous, and when they wield real power, look out. At once global and chillingly intimate in its reach, the Inquisition turns out to have been both more and less awful than we thought. Murphy wears his erudition lightly, writes with quiet wit, and has a delightful way of seeing the past in the present (Mark Bowden, author of 'Guest of the Ayatollah')
From Torquemada to Guantanamo and beyond, Cullen Murphy finds the 'inquisitorial impulse' alive, and only too well, in our world. His engaging romp through the secret Vatican archives shows that the distance between the Dark Ages and Modernity is shockingly short (Jane Mayer, author of 'The Dark Side')
When virtue arms itself - beware! Lucid, scholarly, elegantly told, God's Jury is as gripping as it is important (James Carroll, author of 'Jerusalem, Jerusalem')
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')
There will never be a finer example of erudition, worn lightly and wittily, than this book. As he did in Are We Rome?, Cullen Murphy manages to instruct, surprise, charm, and amuse in his history of ancient matters deftly connected to the present (James Fallows, National Correspondent, 'The Atlantic Monthly')
Entertaining, lively chronicle of the Inquisition, touching on a wide variety of issues across the centuries (Kirkus Reviews)
Murphy is a beguiling writer with a good eye for detail (Noel Malcolm Daily Telegraph [Praise for 'Are We Rome?'])
Erudite...thought-provoking...provocative and lively (Walter Isaacson New York Times [Praise for 'Are We Rome?'])
From the Back Cover
Cullen Murphy has an unusual talent for dealing in surprising ways with historical comparisons of past and present in lucid and lively prose . . . This is very high-end, appealing and thought-provoking popular history. "Washington Post"
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, 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 Guantanamo to the filing cabinets of the Third Reich, the acclaimed writer Cullen Murphy traces the Inquisition and its legacy, showing that not only did its offices survive into the twentieth century, but in the modern world its spirit is more influential than ever.
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.
Entertaining and formidably smart. Bloomberg.com
Cullen Murphy masterfully traces the social, legal and political evolution of the Inquisition and the inquisitorial process from its origins in late-medieval Christian France to its eerily familiar, secular cousin in the modern world. "San Francisco Chronicle"
" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
The Domincans were in charge of dealing with what was considered to be the hertical beliefs of the Cathars; the Jesuits took up the same task in respect of protestants. They were not equally successful in achieving their aims. As the author asks, 'have you ever met a Cathar'?
The effects of the inquisition itself, and the willingness of states and individuals up to the present day to take measures which limit personal freedoms and even the right to life, in response to real or percieved threats, is made clear.
Whilst providing a broadly chronological history of the inquisition and making excellent use of Vatican archive material, the author weaves subsequent events into the narrative, keeping it lively and engaging throughout. The references to the present day are varied and interesting; extraordinary rendition, water boarding, and even current popular culture are used to show how the inquisition remains part of our modern experience, whilst maintaining a gravitas worthy of the subject matter throughout.
A superb book -highly recommended
A bit disappointed with the kindle version as the bibliography is included in the percentage remaining. So the final chapter came as a surprise with some % read remaining
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