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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (245 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Cullen Murphy Narrator: Robertson Dea Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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The Inquisition conducted its last execution in 1826, its victim a Spanish schoolmaster convicted of heresy. But as Cullen Murphy shows in this provocative new work, not only did its offices survive into the twentieth century, in the modern world its spirit is more influential than ever.

God’s Jury encompasses the diverse stories of the Knights Templar, Torquemada, Galileo, and Graham Greene. Established by the Catholic Church in 1231, the Inquisition continued in one form or another for almost seven hundred years. Though associated with the persecution of heretics and Jews—and with burning at the stake—its targets were more numerous and its techniques more ambitious. The Inquisition pioneered surveillance, censorship, and “scientific” interrogation. As time went on, its methods and mindset spread far beyond the Church to become tools of secular persecution. Traveling from freshly opened Vatican archives to the detention camps of Guantánamo to the filing cabinets of the Third Reich, Murphy traces the Inquisition and its legacy.

With the combination of vivid immediacy and learned analysis that characterized his acclaimed Are We Rome?, Murphy puts a human face on a familiar but little-known piece of our past and argues that only by understanding the Inquisition can we hope to explain the making of the present.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “When virtue arms itself—beware! Lucid, scholarly, elegantly told, God’s Jury is as gripping as it is important.”

    James Carroll, award-winning author of Jerusalem, Jerusalem

  • “Murphy powerfully shows that the impulse to inquisition can quietly take root in any system—civil or religious—that orders our lives.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Dean’s gently authoritative voice is clear, articulate, and unbiased in describing the most notorious institution of religious enforcement—and its legacy.”


  • “Cullen Murphy’s account of the Inquisition is a dark but riveting tale, told with luminous grace. The Inquisition, he shows us, represents more than a historical episode of religious persecution. The drive to root out heresy and sin, once and for all, is emblematic of the modern age and a persisting danger in our time.”

    Michael J. Sandel, author of Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do?

  • “Entertaining, lively chronicle of the Inquisition, touching on a wide variety of issues across the centuries.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by David | 2/14/2014

    " Interesting read that covers the broad history of the many different inquisitions and how they helped shaped the modern Western world. While it does provide some details, I felt that it was skimming over many topics. The author repeats many of the same points throughout the book, but using the same basic evidence to his points. It left me thinking the book could have been half the size. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Tamsin Barlow | 2/5/2014

    " Another proof that "the past isn't dead... It isn't even past." "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Siszurpicki | 1/31/2014

    " As a product of 12 years of Catholic education I had many preconceived notions of the justification for the Inquisition. I am disappointed once again in the elaborate front the Church has and still uses to cover it's hypocricy. Infallible?? This book examines the history of justified torture and compares it to the current use of 'enhanced interrogation techniques'. Fascinating. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Daniel | 1/11/2014

    " Excellent summary of "the Inquisition" and their unfortunate parallels in modern societies included the US after 2001. Cullen is an outstanding writer and makes a difficult subject very readable. "

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About the Author
Author Cullen Murphy

Cullen Murphy is the editor at large at Vanity Fair and the former managing editor of the Atlantic Monthly. He is the author of Are We Rome? The Fall of an Empire and the Fate of America, The Word According to Eve, and the essay collection Just Curious. He is also coauthor of Rubbish! The Archaeology of Garbage. He lives in Boston.