Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The War on Heresy: Faith and Power in Medieval Europe” as Want to Read:
The War on Heresy: Faith and Power in Medieval Europe
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The War on Heresy: Faith and Power in Medieval Europe

3.55  ·  Rating Details  ·  42 Ratings  ·  9 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
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The War on Heresy, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The War on Heresy

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 168)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Justin Evans
Sep 03, 2014 Justin Evans rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history-etc
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
Jul 01, 2015 Wing Cheung rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Emmanuel Gustin
The title is indicative of the central thesis of this work: What gave heresy in the middle ages it shape and substance as we know it was "the war on heresy", a phenomenon more substantial and better organized than the heresy itself. Our current beliefs on the "Cathars" and other groups are very much shaped by the writings of those who made it their mission to fight these groups, but on closer inspection, little evidence underpins these accounts.

According to Moore, heresy in the middle ages never
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
Sep 27, 2012 Mark Howells rated it liked it

Slightly heavy going but it was entertaining enough in small chunks
Nicholas rated it liked it
Jul 18, 2016
Geoffrey Staysniak
Geoffrey Staysniak marked it as to-read
Jul 13, 2016
Sean marked it as to-read
Jul 06, 2016
Frans is currently reading it
Jun 08, 2016
Michael Kay-cee
Michael Kay-cee rated it really liked it
May 18, 2016
George marked it as to-read
May 17, 2016
Peter rated it really liked it
May 11, 2016
Patrick Cooley
Patrick Cooley marked it as to-read
May 11, 2016
Dominic Mitchell
Dominic Mitchell marked it as to-read
Apr 26, 2016
Paul Sawtell
Paul Sawtell marked it as to-read
Apr 26, 2016
Midgetbee marked it as to-read
Apr 04, 2016
Charlotte Fraser
Charlotte Fraser marked it as to-read
Apr 02, 2016
Susan added it
Mar 04, 2016
Gayle Noble
Gayle Noble marked it as to-read
Mar 01, 2016
Conor Reid
Conor Reid rated it it was amazing
Apr 29, 2016
Joseph added it
May 18, 2016
Jack rated it really liked it
Apr 05, 2016
Shannon marked it as to-read
Jan 27, 2016
Rich marked it as to-read
Jan 25, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
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...

Share This Book