Tag: inquisition

The Inquisition : Galileo

Unlike many other religions (e.g., Buddhism, Judaism), the Catholic Church has a hierarchical structure with a central bureaucracy. The judge, or inquisitor, could bring suit against anyone. The accused did not have right to counsel. Sentences could not be appealed. The Spanish Inquisition with its notorious autos-da-fé represents a dark chapter in the history of the Inquisition. In northern Europe the Inquisition was considerably more benign: in England it was never instituted, and in the Scandinavian countries it had hardly any impact.

The Inquisition: History

The Inquisition was a powerful office set up within the Catholic Church to root out and punish heresy throughout Europe and the Americas. Beginning in the 12th century and continuing for hundreds of years, the Inquisition is infamous for the severity of its tortures and its persecution of Jews and Muslims. Its worst manifestation was in Spain, where the Spanish Inquisition was a dominant force for more than 200 years, resulting in some 32,000 executions.
There were countless abuses of power.

The Inquisition : Christian-Jewish Relations

In the beginning, the Inquisition dealt only with Christian heretics and did not interfere with the affairs of Jews. However, disputes about Maimonides’ books (which addressed the synthesis of Judaism and other cultures) provided a pretext for harassing Jews and, in 1242, the Inquisition condemned the Talmud and burned thousands of volumes. In 1288, the first mass burning of Jews on the stake took place in France.