Synopses & Reviews
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 Guantánamo 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.
"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? "From Torquemada to Guantanamo and beyond, Cullen Murphy finds the 'inquisorial 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. Who knew that reading about torture could be so entertaining?"
--Jane Mayer, author of The Dark Side. "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 "When virtue arms itself - beware! Lucid, scholarly, elegantly told, Gods Jury is as gripping as it is important."
--James Carroll, author of Jerusalem, Jerusalem "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 for The Atlantic "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
"Provocative and lucid . . . an engaging book." Boston Globe
"In The Word According to Eve, such startling scholarship is unveiled for us by a guide and translator with good humor, graceful prose and formidable intellect." The Los Angeles Times
"The Word According to Eve is a disarming, intelligent, and timely book for the broad audience . . . sly and enjoyable." The New York Times
A narrative history of the Inquisition, and an examination of the influence it exerted on contemporary society, by the author of ARE WE ROME?
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, Cullen Murphy puts a human face on a familiar but little-known piece of our past. Gods Jury encompasses the diverse stories of the Knights Templar, Torquemada, Galileo, and Graham Greene. By understanding the Inquisition, Murphy argues, we come face to face with forces that shape the modern world.
In the world that created the Bible, there were no female scholars and theologians, yet in the past four decades, owing to such stunning discoveries as the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nag Hammadi texts, as well as advances in historical understanding and the rise of feminism, a generation of scholars has found new ways to interpret the Scriptures and the societies that created them -- exploring avenues traditionally ignored by male-dominated religious study. Surveying the new scholarship and the personalities of those who have created it, The Word According to Eve not only explores afresh the history of our religions but offers exciting new challenges to our sense of worship.
The rise and fall of ancient Rome has been on American minds from the beginning of our republic.Today we focus less on the Roman Republic than on the empire that took its place. Depending on whos doing the talking, the history of Rome serves as either a triumphal call to action or a dire warning of imminent collapse. In Are We Rome? the esteemed editor and author Cullen Murphy reveals a wide array of similarities between the two empires: the blinkered, insular culture of our capitals; the debilitating effect of bribery in public life; the paradoxical issue of borders; and the weakening of the body politic through various forms of privatization. Murphy persuasively argues that we most resemble Rome in the burgeoning corruption of our government and in our arrogant ignorance of the world outside -- two things that must be changed if we are to avoid Romes fate.
“A rare book that combines searing passion with a subject that has affected all of our lives.”—Chicago Tribune
Novelist, cultural critic, and former priest James Carroll marries history with memoir as he maps the two-thousand-year course of the Churchs battle against Judaism and faces the crisis of faith it has sparked in his own life. “Fascinating, brave, and sometimes infuriating” (Time), this dark history is more than a chronicle of religion. It is the central tragedy of Western civilization, its fault lines reaching deep into our culture to create “a deeply felt work” (San Francisco Chronicle) as Carroll wrangles with centuries of strife and tragedy to reach a courageous and affecting reckoning with difficult truths.
About the Author
was raised in Washington, D.C., and ordained to the Catholic priesthood in 1969. He served as a chaplain at Boston University from 1969 to 1974, then left the priesthood to become a writer. A distinguished scholar-
in-residence at Suffolk University, he is a columnist for the Boston Globe and a
regular contributor to the Daily Beast.
His critically admired books include Practicing Catholic, the National Book Award-winning An American Requiem, House of War, which won the first PEN/Galbraith Award, and the New York Times bestseller Constantines Sword, now an acclaimed documentary.
Table of Contents
1. Standard Operating Procedure • 1
The Paper Trail
2. A Stake in the Ground • 25
The Medieval Inquisition
3. Queen of Torments • 65
The Spanish Inquisition
4. That Satanic Device • 103
The Roman Inquisition
5. The Ends of the Earth • 143
The Global Inquisition
6. War on Error • 183
The Secular Inquisition
7. With God on Our Side • 224
The Inquisition and the Modern World
Notes • 253
Bibliography • 285
Index • 295