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The War on Heresy: Faith and Power in Medieval Europe
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The War on Heresy: Faith and Power in Medieval Europe

3.6 of 5 stars 3.60  ·  rating details  ·  30 ratings  ·  8 reviews
The great war on heresy obsessed medieval Europe in the centuries after the first millenium. R.I. Moore's vivid narrative focuses on the motives and anxieties of those who declared and conducted the war. What were the beliefs and practices they saw as heretical? How might such beliefs have arisen? And why were they such a threat?

In western Europe at AD 1000 heresy had bare
ebook, 578 pages
Published 2012 by Profile Books
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Justin Evans
My favorite history books annoy both sides in an ongoing argument, and that's what Moore can do here. He'll really piss of those who want medieval heretics to stand in as great martyrs to conscience who were cruelly mistreated by imperialistic, colonising, hegemonic etc etces. He'll also piss of those who see in heresy a genuine danger that needs to be resisted (though not, generally, persecuted).

His argument is, in short, that the 'heretics' of the high middle ages were by and large people who
Scribble Orca
Oct 26, 2013 Scribble Orca marked it as to-be-consideread  ·  review of another edition

Excellent analysis by Diarmaid Macculloch.
Lauren Albert
Moore has a straight forward theory as to why the war on heresy happened where it happened (and not where it didn't) and why it did when it did. Some of the beliefs of the heretics were often clearly a response to social changes--particularly increasing social and economic differences. Attacks on the building of majestic cathedrals were understandable when they came from a population beaten down by the taxes that paid for them. Attacks on the clergy "implied an attack on local structures of powe ...more
Wing Cheung
A 300-page book on a complicated period over a quarter of a millennium is unlikely to be straightforward. Using primary sources Professor Moore demonstrates to the reader that there was never any "European-wide heretical movement" in the Middle Ages. Neoplatonism had a tendency to destabilize Christian theology. Meanwhile, lay piety had a tendency to challenge ecclesiastical authority when simony was practiced in one form or another. Heterodoxy and even heresy had been well tolerated for a long ...more
The War on Heresy was conceived by the author "in exasperation that railway and airport bookstalls, and even quite serious bookshops, almost never have anything to offer on medieval European history except books on the crusades", and that those popular history works on medieval heresy didn't quite seem up to scratch. His idea was "idea was to knock off in a year or so a lightweight version of what I knew so well." I'm not sure that the complex argumentation and close textual reading used in this ...more
Adrian Rogers
In The War on Heresy R.I. Moore has told an enthralling story, striking a good balance between recognized authentic history and the historical novel. He knows how to be engaged with his subject without at the same time 'taking sides', except where a particular standpoint is unavoidable on grounds of common humanity. He genuinely tries to see, and do justice to all points of view. Historical novelists on the other hand does not have to be unbiased, they can take sides, become emotionally involved ...more
Sam Schulman
This is a complete reworking of Moore's classic little book "The Making of a Persecuting Society," which takes into account the seeming fact that one of the central victim-groups that his earlier book investigated, the Gnostic "Cathars" of southern France, turn out not ever to have existed.
Needless to say, a bit of the oomph is lacking in this version of the book, and I dropped it.
Mark Howells

Slightly heavy going but it was entertaining enough in small chunks
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Robert Ian Moore is a British historian who specialised in issues of heresy in medieval Europe. Professor Emeritus of History at Newcastle University and Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.
More about R.I. Moore...
The Formation of a Persecuting Society: Power and Deviance in Western Europe, 950-1250 The First European Revolution: 970-1215 Origins of European Dissent Philip's Atlas of World History The Newnes Historical Atlas

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