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Riassunto: Discussion of the Spanish Inquisition usually invokes emotions of disgust or anger, but also an appreciation of how precious it is to be able to pick up a book or express an opinion without fear of being either tortured or killed by government authorities. Therefore reading a book on the topic can be difficult at times, if one focuses on the brutality of the methods used and the zeal in which they were. This book introduces the reader to the reasons for it and its historical legacy.
The author summarizes the Spanish Inquisition as being 350 years of terror, which is an accurate description considering the horrific acts that were committed in this time period. These acts are delineated in detail in this book, beginning essentially with the papal bull in 1478 that was targeted towards Jewish converts to Christianity. Those Jews found guilty of reversion were promptly executed. The three dominant religions, Islam, Christianity, and Islam were of course in existence at this time, and were, according to the author, not tolerant of each other and each was convinced that it held the keys to truth. If there was tolerance to any degree, it was a de facto tolerance argues the author, i.e. suffered rather than desired. It is interesting to note that de facto tolerance is also the predominant form for these religions in the world today.
The social tensions between Jews and Christians in Spain at this time are brought out in detail in the book. On the surface these tensions even seem comical because of their absurdity. As examples of this idiocy, marriages between Jews and Christians were forbidden; Jews could charge interest on a loan to Christians, and vice versa,
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