Professor Thomas F. Madden-Saint Louis University For many, the Inquisition conjures Gothic images of cloaked figures and barbarous torture chambers. So enmeshed is this view of the Inquisition in popular culture that such scenes play out even in comedies such as Mel Brooks' History of the World and Monty Python's Flying Circus. But is this a fair portrayal? And how was the Inquisition perceived in its own time? Professor Thomas F. Madden of Saint Louis University delivers a stimulating series of lectures exploring all facets of the Inquisition, including the religious and political climate of its time and the Inquisition's relationship to heresy and reformation.
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by Thomas F. Madden
"Madden, a professor at a Jesuit university, covers the history of the Inquisition from its beginnings in Roman law and medieval church practice to its petering out more recently than one might think. While his voice is neither strong nor distinguished and his delivery rather plain, Madden is cogent and clear, despite some "ums." He makes the information, which is interesting, complex, and wide in scope, relatively easy to follow aurally. One unaccountable flaw: in a world rife with fanaticism, he's unable to think of a contemporary parallel to medieval religious intolerance. This is a solid introduction to the subject, with much to say about European history and the history of religion in general. A supplemental booklet and online material were not seen by AUDIOFILE. W.M. (c) AudioFile 2007, Portland, Maine"