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The Inquisition Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
This book alleges to be a wide-ranging study of the activities of the Papal and Spanish Inquisitions from the time of their creation in the thirteenth century to their modern day incarnation. However, my doubts were raised before we'd even left the introduction, as I read:
"Dostoyevsky's Grand Inquisitor has seared itself into our collective consciousness as the definite image and embodiment of the Inquisition." [p. xiv]
Frankly, the only Inquisitor burned into my mind is Michael Palin's soft cushion-brandishing one, and in any case, what has this to do with the historical issues they are supposed to be examining? This was not the last example of this, sadly: works of Umberto Eco, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Arthur Miller and André Gide being waved around in a quite inexplicable manner, as though they were primary sources!
When, finally, we do come to some history, this is sadly lacking. There might be nothing wrong with the facts cited by Baigent and Leigh, or with the conclusions they draw from them - but they've given no proof of that. Almost without exception, no sources are cited: when the odd direct quote does appear and has a footnote, this turns out to be a secondary source.Read more ›
The second half of the book tails off, though, as the rather non-eventful activities of the inquisition in the New World and England are chronicled and ends with absurdly long descriptions of the frankly comical Vatican forbidden books list and the tired old story of the Dead Sea Scrolls conspiracy (cut and pasted from the authors' previous work, I imagine). The authors justify the inclusion of these latter episodes on the basis that they were carried out by the beaurocratic descendents of the Holy office but they really have no place here. One can only assume this book was finished before the film 'Stigmata' dredged up the Dead Sea Scrolls Vatican conspiracy stuff again or the authors would have cited Gabriel Byrne as a source!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Yes, would highly recommend this book - covers the subject in an extremely easy and readable way. Have learnt a great deal about the subject and the thinking of the Roman Church.Published on 22 Aug. 2013 by Ronald SAUNDERS
As Henry Kamen revealed in his study,The Spanish Inquisition:An Historical Revision, which Baigent and Leigh appear not to have read, the Spanish Inquisition was soon reduced to... Read morePublished on 11 Aug. 2004 by Damian Thompson
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