God’s Jury: The Inquisition and the Making of the Modern World

God’s Jury: The Inquisition and the Making of the Modern World, by Cullen Murphy

Washington Post Review is here.

Amazon:  The acclaimed author of Are We Rome? brings his highly praised blend of deep research, colorful travelogue, and insightful political analysis to a new history of the Inquisition.

We think of the Inquisition as a holy war fought in the Middle Ages. But, as Cullen Murphy shows in this provocative new book, not only did its offices survive into the twentieth century, in the modern world its spirit is more influential than ever. Traveling from freshly opened Vatican archives to the detention camps of Guantánamo to the filing cabinets of the Third Reich, he traces the Inquisition and its legacy.

God’s Jury encompasses the diverse stories of the Knights Templar, Torquemada, Galileo, and Graham Greene. 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 and censorship and “scientific” interrogation. As time went on, its methods and mindset spread far beyond the Church to become tools of secular persecution.

With vivid immediacy and authority, 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.

http://www.cullenmurphy.com

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