Packed with interesting information. The mention of the word Inquisition requires reaction. What happens to Galilio? Many names, many horrors.
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Read this book and discover organized hatred and the result. After reading the book my eyes have been complete. Before I read this book my knowledge of the Inquisition was limited.
After reading this book I now understand how destructive and corrupt this method is in controlling people. A must read for any student who wants a better understanding of how Religion and governments can justify their harsh treatment of humanity.
The Grand Inquisitor's Manual
One person found this helpful 2 people found this helpful. This is a classic thorough history of the Inquisition. Well researched and fascinating. No one delves into the history of religion better than Kirsch. The Inquisition was not just about 15th Century Spain, it covered much of Catholic Europe and spread through the Spanish and Portugese New World , and did not just involve hapless Jewish victims.
This is a must read. The book gives a very good description of what was behind the Inquisition. I would recommend the book to anyone interested in the history of the Catholic Church. My only disappointment with the book was the author's weak attempt to tie America to the Inquisition. Frightening concept but this book gave it meaning. Fascinating and frightening but accurate history combined with personal stories of the people who were affected by those events. The swiching back and forth of dates in time and not straight forward through history made it very hard to keep a grasp on the story.
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Interest-specific online venues will often provide a book buying opportunity. Click here for a list of interest-specific sites grouped by category. If you are located outside the U. If Kirsch had written more on it, described it more concretely, I suppose I would have seen the connection, but as it stands, the chapter - which could have been the most powerful and most controversial - is the weakest of the lot.
Overall, this book is an interesting and provocative read. On one hand, it can be read as a guide to understanding the Inquisition, and on the other, it can be read as a testament to the fact that, when given power or the chance to gain it, human beings can and will do whatever they think is necessary to achieve and control that power. The Inquisition itself might no longer be around as it existed in its most infamous forms, but that does not mean the machinery has ceased to exist - it is still there, and was used, and will still be used, when those in power deem it necessary.
Apr 18, Alison rated it it was ok Shelves: This was one of the most repetitive non-fiction books I have ever read. There were sections I actually thought I had read already, like I had accidentally scrolled back in my iPad but no, it was just that repetitive. The Inquisition is fascinating and there was very interesting information but I think this book could have been half the length and contained everything succinctly. Did Not Finish - I reached a point where I could not continue this book.
Too much sexual content and profanity. I understand these things were a part of the history, but I don't think it's necessary to dwell on those aspects so much. Aug 11, Bob rated it it was amazing. The Inquisition lurks in history. It can happen again. Not worth reading I made a mistake in buying this book - it is not worth reading.
The Grand Inquisitor's Manual: A History of Terror in The Name of God
I barely managed to survive until about half of the book and then I tossed it. Jun 28, Raymond rated it liked it Shelves: This was kind of disappointing, but not because it's a bad book. Jonathan Kirsch seems to have written this with a low expectation of his audience's reading skills. Perhaps, it's an NPR writing style, but I found his chapters to be written as separate essays rather than as parts of a cohesive book. Certain facts and essays tend to be repeated over and over again, as if we haven't already read them. It was much like watching a modern originally posted at http: It was much like watching a modern TV show that shows recaps after every commercial break.
The chapters chronologically cover the major movements of the Catholic inquisition from it's origins in the 12th century to the recent and final official gasps in the 19th. Telling the history in this way allows our author to show the development of authoritarian technique throughout the centuries, rather than presenting the Spanish Inquisition, say, as a lone aberration. And this is the book's theme, that these techniques developed by the church torture, the use of informants, guilt by blood relation still reverberate today in Western culture.
It's one of those cases where you don't really need to make the argument. And I doubt that anyone who thinks that waterboarding is a valid method of information gathering, or who looks at the massive torture and murder of huge swaths of people in the name of control and can excuse it in the name of historical context, is going to be swayed by argument, anyway.
And so, this is a light history book written for an audience that already agrees with it's point of view.
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There also isn't a lot of first-person research, outside of references to the actual Inquisitor's Manuals which we can all now read in various archives online. Most of the writing is actually a survey of other books written on the subject, and sometimes resorts to quotations of yet other books from those.
If you're never going to read another book on the subject, this will give you a good, quick overview. It's an easy read; you'll have a fresh water-cooler discussion topic after a few days. Oct 23, Dee Arr rated it liked it. As I knew only the basics of that period in history, Kirsch educated me when he named the three phases medieval Inquisition, Spanish Inquisition, and Roman Inquisition. He explained each, including reasons why each happened and what factors helped to sustain and even Good, Conversational Read He explained each, including reasons why each happened and what factors helped to sustain and eventually end each Inquisition.
The overall storytelling is fairly conversational. If one is looking for a scholarly treatise on this subject, Kirsch's book is not for you. If the author would have stopped after the first six chapters, I probably would have awarded the book five stars, as I felt it lived up to its title. However, for some reason the author began to list other events in world history, and then tried -- mostly unsuccessfully -- to tie them to the Inquisitions, as if the six centuries of terror in God's name had morphed into something new but still was essentially tied to what had happened in Europe ages ago.
While one cannot argue with the atrocities of Hitler and Stalin, neither committed them under God's banner and both had their own agendas as to why they did what they did. The attempts to convince the reader God was behind their decisions were weak and baseless. While the Salem Witch Trials resembled the Inquisitions in some ways, the fifteen months were more of a blip on the history timeline. Kirsch wanted to discuss all these issues and tie them all neatly in one Inquisitional package, it would have been less awkward to present these ideas in a second book.
What was bothersome was that the reader was forced to read many "coming attractions," as the author continually placed references to these last two chapters throughout the entire book. So overall, first six chapters an easy, entertaining read on the Inquisitions and worth your time and money.
If you read the last two chapters and like them, that would be a bonus The Grand Inquisitor's Manual takes us from the inception of the Inquisition in the 12th century to it's end in the mid 19th century, and ends with a look forward to events that seem to have their roots in the Inquisition, like the holocaust. It was very interesting to read about, I haven't really looked into the Inquisition before, so there was a lot of new information for me.
The book is an easy read and seems to get around to the importent parts though I don't know for sure since I don't kno The Grand Inquisitor's Manual takes us from the inception of the Inquisition in the 12th century to it's end in the mid 19th century, and ends with a look forward to events that seem to have their roots in the Inquisition, like the holocaust. The book is an easy read and seems to get around to the importent parts though I don't know for sure since I don't know much about it.
I did however have a couple of issues with it. I think this is because Jonathan Kirsch was trying to be to many places at once. To tell what happened and perspectivate to what late happened at the same time. Here I could mention Kafkaesque, as we have seen and as we shall see.
Especially the two latter ones drove me completely insane by the end, to say that Jonathan Kirsch uses them a lot would be an understatement. This would be fine if it didn't happen all the time and if the conclusions weren't that simple. It got very silly at times, often we would be given some information and then Jonathan had a quote from an other historian's book tell what this ment, this was made worse by the fact that often I could have drawn the conclusion myself.
The historian Jonathan used to the most was Henry Charles Lea, and I have to say that at times I felt like I might as well just put this book aside and read something by him instead. This I found very tasteless and uncalled for. All in all there were many things that bothered me about the book. I would have given it 2,5 stars if I could, but since I can't I decided to round up because it was an interesting, quick, easy read and I felt I got a good introduction to the subject. I don't really know with regards to who I would recomend it to though. Maybe as an introduction it works but I did feel like I would like some other oppinions to compare with.
The Inquisition of the Middle Ages, the Spanish Inquisition and the Roman Inquisition provided for centuries of terror, torture and well documented strategies in annihilating mostly innocent people for heresy. While the original objective of the Inquisition was the Roman Catholic Church's fear of losing control over the thoughts and beliefs of Christians, the inquisitors, the Church and later, the kings of Spain and France, turned it into a strategy in profiteering and later, genocide.
Cloaking The Inquisition of the Middle Ages, the Spanish Inquisition and the Roman Inquisition provided for centuries of terror, torture and well documented strategies in annihilating mostly innocent people for heresy. Cloaking themselves with a language that played down what they were actually doing to the victims, the Inquisition laid the path for modern inquisitions such as the Nazi regime, the Soviet Gulag, the witch trials, the Japanese American internment, the McCarthy anti-Communist hunt and the American military proceedings in Abu Ghraib.
It's horrifyingly interesting to read how the Inquisition made heretics wear large fabric crosses on their garments to humiliate them, even if they had been released from trial, and that this practice was used by Hitler with the Jews in WWII. The practice of getting neighbors, friends, and relatives to spy on and denounce each other, and the purpose of a trial to get victims to name others were used also by the Nazis and McCarthy's committee.
Even the Inquisition's practice of spreading imagined depravities against the targeted victims continues to be used today to build disgust and fear against them. Even the tools of the Inquisition have not been destroyed or left to gather dust in some dark museum. Some of them have been used through the centuries and some, such as the water torture, now renamed waterboarding, and the humiliating dunces cap, are being used today. It was appalling to see how easily it's been to press the panic button in people, and once pressed, how very quickly it can be to spread fear, distrust and the belief that inhumane treatment of those we fear is acceptable, because they are now seen as being less than human.
Once the panic button is pressed, how ready are we to relinquish common sense, embrace the flimsiest of excuses to legalize the torture and incarceration of our imagined enemies. Covering some very distasteful details of mainly the Inquisitions' strategies and practices, this is, however, a really good documentation of man's need to control that which he fears.
It certainly made me realize that not only does history repeat itself, but that there are some who will actually try to justify evil actions. Christendom seemed to have grown delirious and Satan might well smile at the tribute to his power in the endless smoke of the holocaust which bore witness to the triumph of the Almighty. A History of Terror in the Name of God , in which he outlines the history of terror practiced in the West as perceived threats to an ordered society, one in Christendom seemed to have grown delirious and Satan might well smile at the tribute to his power in the endless smoke of the holocaust which bore witness to the triumph of the Almighty.
A History of Terror in the Name of God , in which he outlines the history of terror practiced in the West as perceived threats to an ordered society, one in thought and organization, began to rear their shadowy heads. The Bogomils of Bulgaria, the Cathars of France, the Fraticelli of Italy, the Jews of Europe, the Muslims of Spain - all thorns in the side of the established order of both church and state.
The Grand Inquisitor's Manual - Jonathan Kirsch - E-book
Some of these, Kirsch argues, have remained thorns into the so-called modern era. The Nazi regime of Germany used much of the same language - even some of the same tools - against its Jewish population, but with a much more efficient means of final annihilation. Like the victims of the Inquisition, the defendants are not even entitled to be told what crimes they are accused of committing or what evidence the government has relied upon in arresting and holding them.
Demonization always raises the demonized to a status that too often supersedes the values of the culture which it is perceived to threaten. And so we are being encouraged to give up some cherished civil liberties, to understand the need to suspect and imprison, to see certain of our neighbors through the slitted eyes of distrust. The Grand Inquisitor's Manual is not only a lesson in history. It's also a cautionary tale for our time. Feb 28, Heather rated it did not like it Recommends it for: While this book should have been interesting, and may contain some good information, its disorganization and repetitiveness completely overshadow its good qualities.
I was about halfway through the book before I started feeling like I was no longer reading the introduction. The author is not a historian, and does not make any attempt to treat information with objectivity, and in the later part of the book, he freely admits to this. Throughout the book, the author quotes his few favored sources a While this book should have been interesting, and may contain some good information, its disorganization and repetitiveness completely overshadow its good qualities.
Throughout the book, the author quotes his few favored sources ad nauseam, and routinely criticizes any historians who do not share his point of view as "defenders" and "apologists" for the Inquisition. There are clues early on that the book is intended to be a vehicle for his own political views, and this becomes truly apparent in the last chapters.
The subtitle "Terror In the Name of God" is misleading, since the latter part of the book degenerates into tales of purely cultural and political persecution. The author's research seems very superficial and his conclusions very simplistic.