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The Inquisition

3.51  ·  Rating details ·  194 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
After the Albigensian Crusade against the Cathars of south-west France in 1208, a Spanish monk - later canonized as St Dominic - took up the cudgels by establishing a kind of secret police to ferret out heresy - thus began the infamous Inquisition. Baigent and Leigh tell the whole extraordinary story, taking it on into the nineteenth century and showing how after the Doctr ...more
317 pages
Published (first published January 1st 2000)
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Jul 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, religions, 2017
After reading Lewis M. Weinstein's novel "The Heritic" which takes place in a dark era of European history and tells about the changes in catholic Spain and the faith and persecution of the conversos I found myself looking for some books to enlarge my knowledge about the Inquisition. This book is perhaps not the best book when it comes to the complete facts surrounding the Inquisition but it gave an interesting insight in the whole process of the inquisition and showed it to be part of much larg ...more
Jul 15, 2008 added it
Biased and superficial.: This book is an amalgam of various items, which have sometimes nothing to do with the Inquisition (e.g. Schliemann, Garibaldi).
It spends three pages on one tortured freemason, and half a paragraph on Wycliffe and Hus.
The authors don't explain clearly the theories of and the conflicts with, for instance, the Cathars, with Wycliffe and Hus.
Into the bargain, being superficial, they are very approximative in their statements. For instance, they fail to mention the crucial re
Jul 06, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: learning
Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition! Oh boy! Do you remember those days when the Papal Estates went completely batshit insane and started burning people all over the world to preserve the real faith? Ah! Those were the good old days. How about that time when they excommunicated all who would argue with them and even prohibited every good christian of reading a shitload of books? Those were rather fine days also. Oh wait! Do you remember those really awesome times when the church denied adopti ...more
Oct 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: italy, non-fiction
I loved this book. The Inquisition is probably the first time that I had read a book that solely focuses on the history of the Inquisition. It was so interesting to get an insight into a history of brutality and violence that I had otherwise not been exposed too. More interesting for me was to understand the beginning of modern institutions that were created as a result of the Inquisition, to really see the impact that this period of hyper religion had on the modern age, about 200 years after it ...more
Ashish Jaituni
Aug 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Baigent and Leigh have written a very good, immensely readable and a quite accurate book on a topic where everyone had differing views.

The writers claim to give a full history of the Inquisition, starting with the events leading to the establishment of the Inquisition in 1234 straight to the present day. It seems to me they have reached their goal. The best thing of this book is that in totality it is chronological, but the subjects are dealt with separately.

It is written in a lucid manner, hum
Apr 03, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: world-history
I never realized that the inquisition was a wide spread event that carried on for centuries. I had always thought it was only in Spain. This book tried to cover the entire inquisition movement. To much info for a book this size. The info was so scattered it made the book seem very unorganized and hard to follow, in my opinion. I will probably try another book that solely covers the Spanish Inquisition since that was what original captured my interest. But for me, this book was hard to finish and ...more
Jim McIntosh
For the first 13 chapters, a nice explication of the Roman and Spanish inquisitions. But, then, in chapter 14, when trying to explain the evolution into the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, the authors head into a weird rant against Pope John Paul II and Cardinal Ratzinger (the book was written before Ratzinger's election to pope). Frankly, these last three chapters seem like they belong in another book. Chapters 1-13: Four stars; Chapters 14-17: Two stars or less.
The history of church is replete with murders and massacres, of those that in any way threatened its hold of total power, either with independent will or with knowledge of any realms at all whether intellect or mind or thought or discoveries of the universe, and all the more so about anything spiritual.

Massacres of Cathars and murders of Merovingians, inquisition resulting in burning of people branded merely for the reason of not being completely subservient, including thinkers and those with a
Reza Amiri Praramadhan
It is rather embarrassing that I was drawn to this book by a comedic sketch from Monty Python: the Spanish Inquisition sketch. Although I must admit that the real Inquisition is more terrifying than Palin, Jones and Gilliam. The Inquisition, was indeed the thought police of the Catholic Church. Supposedly made to combat heresies, the Inquisitions jailed, tortured and burned numerous people based on suspicions only. These people were branded as witch, being a protestant, a mystic, or whatever the ...more
Malcolm Frawley
Dec 04, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
The misogyny displayed by the Catholic Church over the centuries spanned by the Inquisition is harrowing. But the hypocrisy runs it a close second. One day it is heresy to believe in witchcraft, the next it is heresy NOT to believe in witchcraft. One day the Pope is fallible, the next day he is INfallible. And so many victims consigned to the stake were incriminated only by their enemies, or happened to possess an enviable amount of property. Even if an accused was eventually acquitted their pos ...more
Jodi Moran
Nov 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Ratzinger became the frikkin' POPE?!?!

That was my reaction a few years back when Benedict was named. Wow! I own the hardback of this book. Picked it up in an English language bookstore in Istanbul just because I was in the mood for non-fiction. Boy, was I in for a treat! I've used it in my Humanities classes and wound up reading the damned thing 3 times. There's just so much cool information, not to mention the tone used, which is tip-of-tongue-touches-molar rather than tongue-firmly-in-cheek, b
Nov 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Book covers the Inquisition from its inception in southern France through its challenges and changes up to the end of the 20th century.

Easy to read, with chapters logically assembled. Great bibliography at the end of the book.

This is not an apologetic, nor is it a detailed compendium of specific tortures used by the Inquisition. The book approaches the subject from the angle of the underlying ideas, both political and spiritual, of why the Inquisition was born, grew, and how it faces the challe
Jul 16, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
a bit polemical, this book is by part of the team behind the mass selling Holy Blood & the Holy Grail. This is an account of the history of the Catholic churches Holy Inquisition. Probably only worth a look if you're a fan of the first book. If you've been updated on the inaccuracies in that, then you tend to find yourself taking this all with a pinch of salt...
Neil Breeze
I found this a factually interesting book, chronicalling the days of the Spanish Inquisition from start to finish. It was hard to read at points as the story it tells fits with the chaos and occasional monotony of reality. Boring at times, gripping at others; it is a grim representation of just one product of religious fanatasicm in history.
Way better paced than holy blood holy grail. I struggled with this book because I think I needed a lot more background reading historical figures would be mentioned like the reader knew what passed deeds they had done this was interlay my fault and lack of educating myself.
Jun 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, owned, history
This is a compelling historical work that explores the many facets of the inquisition and how a priori reason did nothing to dissuade mass murders, even though according to the church, murder was wrong. This is about the economy, politics and power.
Eder Ribeiro
Dec 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Deus se torna mais distante qdo vc precisa da mão humana para alcanç-Lo
Mar 03, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
What a load of tosh! A book that covers the Spanish Inquisition in 21 pages and spends more time on the talking about the European witch craft trials, should really reconsider it's title!
Daniel Kukwa
Jan 18, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Ambitious, pointed, concise...everything you could possibly want from a work of history. An effortless read.
Dec 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thought this was a well researched and a somewhat unique view of the inquisition and esp its relevance in todays church. Easy reading....except of course the overall topic.
Kathleen McRae
very informative and certainly has not been censored by the church
Nov 25, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Good account of how the Catholic Church used to run the business of religion.
Nov 15, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Voor de leek is het een interessant boek. Voor mensen die de diepte in willen is dit boek echter totaal ongeschikt. Geen fatsoenlijke annotatie en er blijven teveel vragen onbeantwoord.
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Jan 19, 2011
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Michael Baigent was born in New Zealand in 1948. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in psychology from Canterbury University, Christchurch, and holds a master's degree in mysticism and religious experience from the University of Kent in England. Since 1976 he has lived in England with his wife and children.

Baigent is a Freemason and a Grand Officer of the United Grand Lodge of England. He has
More about Michael Baigent...