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God's Jury: The Inquisition and the Making of the Modern World Hardcover – 2 Feb 2012

4.7 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Allen Lane; First Printing edition (2 Feb. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0713995343
  • ISBN-13: 978-0713995343
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 634,517 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


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)

About the Author

Cullen Murphy is Vanity Fair's editor at large and the author of Are We Rome? and The Word According to Eve. He was previously managing editor of The Atlantic Monthly.

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27 February 2018
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8 March 2012
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3 July 2015
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24 September 2015
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15 February 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
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21 March 2012
Format: Hardcover
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