CLICK HERE  TO ACCESS  COUNTRIES

T O P I C

4000 YEARS OF
JEWISH HISTORY

Jewish
Timelines


Who is a Jew?

Ethnic Jewish Groups

The Jewish Law

The Hebrew Bible

Interpretation

Jewish  Messiah
Clamants

Jewish Conversion

Jewish Women
in Judaism

Jewish
Education


Marranos

How Are Crypto Jews Different?

Jewish Diaspora

Jewish Festivals

Jewish Languages

Jewish Temples


What Was the Holocaust ?

Antisemitism


Year 1000

Understanding the
Middle Ages

The Inquisition

Jewish Pirates


Why has Christendom
Attacked the Jews?

Catholicism

Islam


Expulsion of the Jews  
from Arab Countries, 1948-2012


ISRAEL

Videos -

Maps -

Mogan David
(Flag of Israel)

Statistics  and Information

Jewish History
Videos

VIDEOS

CLICK BUTTON TO GO TO TOPIC

OVERVIEW

PAPAL APOLOGY


WHY IT IS IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND THE INQUISITION

WHAT IS THE INQUISITION?

SHADOW OF THE INQUISITION

The Spanish and Portuguese Empires on the American Continent

Spanish and Portuguese Immigration Policy - New Christians

Clandestine Jewish Communal Life
Marrano Camouflage Methods

Where the Term ‘Sephardim’
Comes From

Festivals and Customs in the Shadow of the Inquisition

Disintegration of Jewish Communities

 THE MEDIEVAL, SPANISH, PORTUGUESE AND ROMAN INQUISITIONS

The Inquisitions Lasted for Almpst 600 Years

The Medieval, Spanish, Portuguese, Goa
 and Roman  Inquisition’s

An Economic Analysis of the Spanish Inquisition’s Motivations and Consequences

 inquisitions
in the Americas

CHARGES
  BROUGHT BY THE
 INQUISITION

 

HOW  WAS THE INQUISITION   ORGANISED?

Going to a New Community

Accusation

Detention

The Trial

ENFORCOMG A SENTENCE

Proclamations

Procession and Ceremony

Punishments

Executuion of Sentence

Where Held

INSTITUTIONAL STRUCTURE AND PROCEDURE

AUTOS DE LA FE (Spanish),
AUTO DA FE (Portuguese)


FINANCING THE INQUISITION

EDGARDO MORTARO,
THE LAST ARREST
 OF THE
 INQUISITION


THE INQUISITION AND THE
ECONOMIC LIFE
OF EUROPE


 WHY  DID  THE

INQUISITION
DECLINE?


JUSTIFICATION OF THE INQUISITION BY THE
CATHOLIC CHURCH


THE INQUISITION ARCHIVES

JEWISH FAITH AND TRADITION AFTER THE INQUISITION

LINKS

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share via e-mail Print

Your Feedback Please to the

jewishwikipedia.info Guestbook

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share via e-mail Print


WHY YOU NEED TO UNDERSTAND THE INQUISITION
________________________________________


WHY IT IS IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND THE INQUISITION
‘The Grand Inquisitor’s Manual’ by Gerald Kirsch pp221

..as we learn from Carlo Ginzburgs (author of ‘The Cheese and the Worms: The Cosmos of a Sixteenth Century Miller’) account of one flesh-and-blood victim of the Inquisition, the miller called Menocchio was twice arrested, tried, and convicted on charges of heresy because, among the weightier items of evidence cited against him, he possessed a vernacular translation of the Bible, a book that might or might not have been a copy of the Koran, and a fatally loose tongue. “He was always arguing with somebody about the faith just for the sake of arguing,” one witness testified against him. Like all victims of the Inquisition, Menocchio was required to name names, and when his answers were deemed unsatisfactory, he was tortured with the strappado. “Oh Jesus, oh Jesus,” the old man cried as the inquisitorial notary took down his every anguished word. “Oh poor me, oh poor me.” On his second conviction, Menocchio was sent to the stake as a relapsed heretic, but only after the vigilant bureaucrats of the Holy Office had pointedly reminded the local inquisitors of their sacred duty to burn the old man alive. “You must not fail to proceed with that diligence required by the gravity of the case, so that he may not go unpunished for his horrible and execrable excesses,” went the merciless message from Rome, “but that he may serve as an example to others in those parts by receiving a just and severe punishment. Therefore do not fail to carry it out with all the promptness and rigor of mind demanded by the importance of the case.”

The burning of a talkative religious eccentric, as the Tedeschis readily concede, cannot be seen as an act of “moral justice” but they still see it as an example of “legal justice,” at least as the notion was understood and applied in the sixteenth century. They urge us to look at the Inquisition in its historical context, an era in which Europe turned into “a persecuting society,” according to R.I. Moore, with victims that included not only reli­gious dissidents but anyone whose ancestry, appearance, sexual practices, or gender orientation was perceived to be different and therefore danger­ous. To apply our modern notions of liberty and due process of law to the Inquisition, some historians suggest, is a pointless anachronism, and they insist that it is possible to explain the peculiarities of the past without condoning them. The proper role of the historian, as Moore explains it, is “with Spinoza, not to ridicule men’s actions, or bewail them, or despise them, but to understand.”

Yet there is a terrible risk in dismissing the Inquisition as an antique curiosity that can be safely contained between the covers of a history book. Precisely because the Inquisition provides a blueprint for building and operating the machinery of persecution—and a rationale for using the same apparatus to exterminate ones enemies—the Inquisition was and still is a danger to human life and human liberty.

So the Inquisition must be seen as both a fact of history and an idea that transcends history. Edward Peters, for example, argues that the inquisitions as they actually existed and operated—he pointedly insists on the lower case i and the plural noun—“were transformed by polemic and fiction into a myth” and then into “an indictment, by the modern world, of an earlier Europe for its crushing of the human spirit.” The fact and the idea of the Inquisition are distinguishable, and that is what a revisionist historian like Peters insists that we must do.

But the Inquisition is more than a lens through which to look at the events of the far-distant past. Rather, as Peters reminds us, the Inquisition has come to be “woven tightly into the fabric of modern consciousness’-and it has continued to inspire new generations of persecutors long after the last of the friar-inquisitors were dead and buried. In that sense the inquisitorial idea has been at work in the world ever since it was first conceived in the thirteenth century, never more so than in the twentieth century and even in our own times. Indeed, as we shall see, the inquisitorial apparatus was constantly improved and put to new uses against new victims even as the Inquisition faded into history.

The Inquisition first articulated and embraced the daring idea of eradicating all heresies and exterminating all heretics, an elastic term that came to include Jews, Muslims, homosexuals, radical priests, female mystics, even the occasional midwife or miller whose eccentricities were unsettling to one inquisitor or another. “Several popes and kings in the high and late Middle Ages had the cast of mind to effect these holocausts,” explains Norman F. Cantor in ‘Inventing the Middle Ages’, and only the primitive state of medieval technology and statecraft prevented them from doing so

So the argument that the Inquisition was rather less ghastly than it aspired to be may be historically accurate, but it is morally sterile. The medieval inquisitors lacked only the means and not the will to rid the world of everyone they regarded as “heretical filth,” and so Cantor concludes that “the indictment against the Middle Ages runs.”

Within a century after the last victim of the Spanish Inquisition was put to the flames, a new generation of inquisitors came to power in Europe. They enjoyed access to the technology of the twentieth century—railroads, chemical pesticides, automatic weapons, radio transmitters, and much else besides—and they swore themselves to serve rulers who enjoyed far more authority than any pope or king of the Middle Ages. But they embraced the same hateful idea that was the raison d’être of the Inquisition, and so they were able to update and automate the medieval equipment and set it into operation on an industrial scale. “The modern totalitarian state in Nazi Germany and the Leninist-Stalinist Soviet Union and its satellites was a realization of a medieval nightmare,” writes Cantor. “The result was Auschwitz and the Gulag, World War II, and the death of at least twenty million civilians at the hands of the Nazi and Bolshevik governments.”

To be sure, the willingness to torture and kill one’s fellow human beings because of some trivial difference in appearance or habit or belief hardly began with the Inquisition. The first heretic to be burned alive in Spain, for example, was Priscillian of Avila, who was sent to the stake on charges of witchcraft in 383, more than a thousand years before the Spanish Inquisition came into existence. The persecutorial impulse—“the urge to purify the world through the annihilation of some category of human beings imagined as agents of corruption and incarnations of evil”—seems to be hardwired into Western civilization. Sad to say, human beings as a species have never failed to find reasons to regard one another with fear and loathing and thus to offer violence to one another.

But the Inquisition transformed these ugly and tragic impulses into something vastly more powerful and thus more perilous by draping them in the trappings of law and theology and creating a bureaucracy to organize and administer the bloodshed. Once available, the inquisitorial tool­box could be put to use by any authoritarian regime with the will and the means to unpack and use it. “Here, then, was an engine so constructed that it might be turned effectually to any purpose,” explains Coulton. “Good purpose or bad purpose depended only upon the policy or the caprice of the man or the group who had this tribunal at command.” The “engine” which Coulton is referring is the medieval Inquisition, but his words apply with equal force to the lowercase inquisitions of the twentieth century and, as we shall see, the opening decades of the third millennium, too.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Both the Inquisition and the Nazi regime were fearful of any idea or practice that fell outside the narrow circle of dogma; thus, for example, they turned their attention to Freemasons, homosexuals, and Jews, among other victims. Both were obsessed with their self-appointed mission of imposing a rigid authoritarian order on an unruly world. Tragically, the similarities do not stop there.

THE

INCREDIBLE

STORY OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE