The Medieval Inquisition (HIH1598)

15 credits

In modern popular culture the ‘inquisition’ has come to represent the harsh, repressive and persecuting powers of religious orthodoxy. This module investigates the history of the medieval inquisition and the forces which shaped the emergence of this interpretation of it as a single, repressive and malevolent authority. It explores the medieval evidence, beginning with the introduction of inquisitions to deal with perceived threats from heresy in the thirteenth century, before considering how early modern and modern experiences also shaped modern images of the inquisition. No prior knowledge of the period is needed and all sources will be in English.