The Spanish Inquisition a History

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  • Topic: Spanish Inquisition, Inquisition, Spain
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First Book Review:

Second Book Review:
The Spanish Inquisition A History

Juan H. Servin

The Great Teachings-3400
California State University Stanislaus
November 19, 2008

Servin 1
Juan H. Servin
Prof. Richard Weikart
The Great Teachings-3400
Second Book Review
19 November 2008
The Spanish Inquisition A History
What was the Spanish Inquisition? The Spanish Inquisition persecuted and discriminated against minorities in the Iberia Peninsula who opposed to the practice and ideologies of the Catholic Church. Between 1480 to 1834, the Spanish Inquisition was placed under the authority of the royal power in Spain; the Inquisition was created in order to resolve the particular problem presented by the presence of thousands of converted Jews in the Iberian Peninsula. At the same time, the inquisition extended its authority to other minorities and become implanted in other geographical regions. This “institution” operated and was expanded to other territories under the crown of Castile—the Canaries and the territories ruled by viceroys in New Spain and Peru (24, 25).

Joseph Pérez not only described the Spanish Inquisition by summarizing the contents of this “regime,” but also his main thesis and interpretation are based on criticizing the origins of anti-Semitism, how the Spanish Inquisition “defended the Catholic faith” against Jews, Muslims, Protestantism, and witchcraft. Also, Pérez continues his thesis and interpretations when he argued against the trials and organization of “the Holy Office”—the Inquisition. Finally, Pérez reinforced his main thesis by arguing and comparing the Spanish Inquisition with modern regimes, such as Nazi Servin 2

Germany and Communist regimes that used similar procedures of “torture” and “persecution” to those who opposed Nazism and Communism ideologies. Therefore, Pérez’s interpretation and explanation not only make sense, but they are well presented.

To initiate, Pérez’s thesis began by introducing the creation of the “anti-Semitism” against Jews; as well as discrimination against Muslims who opposed to the Catholic doctrine during the beginnings the Spanish Inquisition. First, Pérez criticized and analyzed the procedures and manipulations that the Inquisitions imposed to Jews and Muslims to convert them to Catholicism; these procedures and manipulations that Pérez criticized were the oppression to converted these two groups to Catholicism or expel them out from Spain if they remained their faith—many chose the exile (35). Also, Pérez admired the resistance that the majority of Jews had to preserve their faith in “secret” and maintained loyal to their faith even though they faced persecution, discrimination, oppression, and expulsion during the Inquisition (51).

Then, Pérez continued to develop his thesis and interpretation by arguing that the Inquisition expanded their injustices by applying their policies not only to Jews and Muslims, but also to against Protestants, Illuminists, and witchcrafts. Pérez, argued that the Inquisition justified their atrocities against Protestants and Illuminist because they were introducing new ideologies that were against the Catholic Church. Pérez, described these injustices that the Inquisition committed by criticizing the different methods of persecutions and executions on Protestants and Illuminist; these methods were also imposed to those who practiced witchcraft during the Inquisition. However, these examples that Pérez described was to reinforce his interpretation that the Inquisition was Servin 3

concerned with what people believed, not what they did; with faith, not with behavior (85). In other words, Pérez interpretation on the injustices and the procedures that the Inquisition committed were base on “autos de fe”—defending the Catholic faith, and there were not base on how the Inquisition’s victims behaved.

Subsequently, Pérez emphasized in his thesis...
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