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The Modern Scholar: Heaven or Heresy: A History of the Inquisition | [Thomas F. Madden]

The Modern Scholar: Heaven or Heresy: A History of the Inquisition

With a scholarly eye and infectious enthusiasm, widely published author and noted expert on pre-modern European history Thomas Madden imparts an understanding of the Spanish and Roman Inquisitions while dispelling popular myths associated with the subject.
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Publisher's Summary

For many, 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 such as Mel Brooks' History of the World and Monty Python's Flying Circus. But is this a fair portrayal? And how was the Inquisition perceived in its own time? Professor Thomas F. Madden of Saint Louis University delivers a stimulating 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. With a scholarly eye and infectious enthusiasm, widely published author and noted expert on pre-modern European history Thomas Madden imparts an understanding of the Spanish and Roman Inquisitions while dispelling popular myths associated with the subject.

Download the accompanying reference guide.

©2007 Thomas F. Madden; (P)2007 Recorded Books

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  •  
    Adam Springfield, MO, United States 01-14-12
    Adam Springfield, MO, United States 01-14-12 Member Since 2011

    Adam Whitaker

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    "Very informative"

    This covers a lot of history, starting with the Roman origins of inquisitions. The lecturer is very well informed though he does seem to go out of his way to defend the church every few minutes. Even so, he presents the history most have never really looked into in a way that's easy to follow and retain.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Trevor Lonedell, MO, United States 12-13-11
    Trevor Lonedell, MO, United States 12-13-11 Member Since 2007
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    "Some of the best info on the Inquistion out there"

    While classroom lectures are not as well-read as some of the Times Bestseller fiction novels, the teacher doesn't do a bad job and gives great info on the Inquisition.

    Most importantly, one is able to try to understand WHY a sane person would support such a practice. From this vantage point of history, the Inquisitors seem out of their skulls, but I appreciated the professor's lectures precisely because the picture that came through was of rational men taking their beliefs to a logical end. It was enlightening to try to get into their shoes.

    The lectures kept me interested. I suspect Dr. Madden is a strong Catholic, but every author and every teacher is biased.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chi-Hung Riverside, CA, USA 01-09-09
    Chi-Hung Riverside, CA, USA 01-09-09 Member Since 2007
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    "A decent course"

    I like Madden's courses, and this one did not disappoint, however, the history of Inquisition stopped being interesting after the Reformation, although the course touched on the modern misconception of the Inquisition, the course could have been more interesting if it focuses more on the heretical theology.

    8 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ralph Bloch 11-01-09
    Ralph Bloch 11-01-09 Member Since 2006
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    "Bad news and good"

    This lecture, to me, was a big disappointment. Prof. Madden's implied, but not well disguised assertion is that the Catholic Church is inherently right and has no other objectives than to safeguard the spiritual welfare of its believers. Heresy, then, is inherently evil since it could possibly derail the flock from the path of righteousness. Consequently, inquistion is the only logical solution to protect the true and only faith. The heretics are lucky to be protected by the compassion of Canon law. After all, only a few thousand Jews and conversos were executed in Spain. Unfortunately, few historic sources were quoted for these assertions.
    But not all is lost. The halting delivery and meagre prose will convince few listeners other than adherents of Opus Dei.

    10 of 36 people found this review helpful
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    john meriden, CT, United States 11-27-12
    john meriden, CT, United States 11-27-12
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    "willfully naive apologia"

    incredibly, likely willfully naive - the professor thinks that 'heretics' were 'persuaded' of their errors and recanted having realized this. his basic assertion is that unlike the state, the church only sought to correct. he has never heard of Power, as in requiring loyalty oaths to maintain power. church and state were two mutually sustaining parts.

    above is based on listening to the audio up to the inquisition - i had to give it up. hoping audible will refund my $.

    1 of 7 people found this review helpful
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  • Curly
    12/20/11
    Overall
    "an opinion piece"

    A very interesting set of lectures. I had enjoyed his set on Venice and would recommend it. I was concerned by how partial he was. He appears to be an apologist for the inquistion. I am sure he is correct that the inquisition was a varied set of processes and he did a good job describing the subtleties of it in a historical context but he seemed not to be able to accept that the catholic church was run by earthly men who might also have had political motives for tourturing heretics and sending many to their deaths for expressing contray views. He seems to say that Galilao had it coming for being wrong, which is a little unfair i feel. He does not give Protestant Christians much of the same slack. For example Mary I of England and Elizabeth I had roughly the same number of people killed for religious reasons (Elizabeth over a longer period of time) but he implies that Elizabeth had much more killed. He also says that witch trials and executions with coerced testimony was a protestant procedure when in fact it happened in both Protestant and Catholic areas and the standard of evidence was variable in both juristdictions. He suggests that the inquisition would not accept falseified testimony but the Basque trials would be an example were this many false confessions were clearly obtained. Definately worth a listen but possibly not as balenced as it could be.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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