Saturday, January 26, 2013

Amazon Review

Did you know that:

The Spanish Inquisition (Historical Association Studies)·         The murderous Spanish Inquisition condemned less than 3,000 people during its 350 year history, with 75% of that number during the first twenty years of its existence?

·         The Spanish Inquisition employed torture only rarely – far less often than secular criminal justice systems in other countries – such that in major heresy cases only 25% of accused were subject to torture and only 5% in minor cases?

·         Other countries, including England, continued to burn heretics until well into the seventeenth century?

·         The Spanish Inquisition decided that witchcraft accusations were not supported by the evidence such that “[w]hile worshippers of Satan and the devil were burned at the stake in Germany and England by secular courts until at least the end of the seventeenth century, in Spain they were deemed to be engaging in a harmless illusion”?

·         The Spanish Inquisition was lenient in its punishment of homosexual conduct such that “[p]unishments issued by inquisitorial courts became less severe at a time when other, arguably more progressive, countries such as England and the Netherlands were routinely executing homosexuals “?
 
      A final note - the last time anyone was executed under the Spanish Inquistion was in 1781, not 1826, as Murphy claims. Murphy's claimed last victim - Cayetano Ripoll, a "Spanish schoolmaster convicted of heresy" - was actually hung by the Spanish state and not burned by the Inquisition. The actual last victim was Dolores of Seville, who sounds crazy in her claims of being in contact with the Virgin Mary and releasing thousands of souls from purgatory and who was executed in 1781, when in our more enlightened age she probably would have been given anti-schizoid medication. In truth, by the late eighteenth century, English travelers were commenting on the freedom of movement given to Jews and the absence of heresy trials. Why Murphy seeks to invent a final "burning" when the Inquisition had done no such thing for nearly half a century is probably due to his ignorance and his self-admitted polemical agenda.
 
These are facts from a historian, not arguments from an apologist.
Check out my review of Helen Rawlings' The Spanish Inquisition (Historical Association Studies) and give my review a helpful vote.

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