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Heaven or heresy a history of the…

Heaven or heresy a history of the Inquisition (edition 2007)

by Thomas F. Madden

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Title:Heaven or heresy a history of the Inquisition
Authors:Thomas F. Madden
Info:Prince Frederick, Md. : Recorded Books, p2007.
Collections:Your library
Tags:Non-fiction, History, Religion

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Heaven or Heresy: A History of the Inquisition (Unabridged) by Thomas F. Madden



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Another audio course in The Modern Scholar series, History of the Inquisition is third series I've done this year. In terms of content, it was the most interesting of the three. While we all think of the Inquisition as Torquemada and the Spanish Inquisition; the origins, considered the Medieval Inquisition, and the Roman Inquisition operated much differently in form and function. Professor Madden does a good job explaining the myth of the Inquisition compared with its reality -- a pious populace often welcomed the assistance of an Inquisitor, whose expressed purpose was to ensure the people were on a righteous path following the tenants of the church as determined by the authorities (the pope and his cronies).

The myths aren't completely without basis in fact. The Spanish Inquisition killed thousands, many of them Jews who converted to Christianity in an earlier, ill-conceived pogrom led by King Ferdinand (Christopher Columbus' sponsor). Unfortunately for the converts, Jews in general were immune to the attentions of the Inquisitors.

Madden wraps up with a discussion of how the Inquisition is portrayed in literature and now movies. This is a very thorough investigation on a rather narrow subject, and content-wise it is done very well. Unfortunately, Professor Madden is not a particularly talented speaker -- there are a lot of awkward pauses, "umms" and "ahhs"; and many moments where he clearly lost track of his point and attempted to recover by restating the previous statement. It was very much like listening to a poor public speaker.

So far, the series is 1/3 on speakers, 2/3 on content, and 3/3 on overall value. ( )
  JeffV | Aug 24, 2010 |
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The Inquisition conjures Gothic images of cloaked figures and barbarous torture chambers. So enmeshed is this view of the Inquisition in popular culture that such scenes play out even in comedies, but is this a fair portrayal? How was the Inquisition perceived in its own time? Professor Madden delivers a series of lectures exploring all facets of the Inquisition, including the religious and political climate of its time and the Inquisition's relationship to heresy and reformation.… (more)

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