Sunday, July 24, 2016

Review: Characters of the Inquisition

Characters of the Inquisition by William Thomas Walsh, January 1, 2005 (originally published in 1969).  314 pages. Published by Tan Books. Source: Bought/Own.
Refutes the many lies about the Inquisition raised by the enemies of the Church. Shows why it was instituted, the purpose it served, its long-term effects, and why it preserved Catholic countries from the infamous witch-hunts besmirching Protestant history. All this is achieved by narrating the stories of six Grand Inquisitors. Exonerates the Church of all wrong-doing. Really dispels the lies about this institution.

First Sentence:
The very word "Inquisition," which one enjoyed the connotation, as well as the meaning,  of "inquiry," has become almost synonymous in the modern world with "bigotry," "intolerance," "cruelty." 

A little known fact about me, I really like history. While I do like historical fiction, I really do prefer reading about actual historical events within the context of what actually happened during that period. One of the things that drew me to reading Characters of the Inquisition was that I wanted to know more about the Inquisition itself and see it within the proper context of what actually happened. Little did I know that while reading this book, I would see connections between history and some of what's happening currently. It was, to say the least, a fascinating experience to delve into this book.

  • We all know that depending on who's telling the story, history is told with a slant in favor or against a group based upon who is doing the telling. So, as one who loves history especially those hot point history stories, like the Inquisition, I like to see both sides to get a better understanding on what happened and how those effected by it thought of said historical situation. 
  • What really captured my attention when it came to Characters of the Inquisition was how Willia Thomas Walsh built the history of the Inquisition from the time of Moses, yes the Moses who led the Israelites' out of the land of Egypt, all the way to the height and decline of it. It really gave it better context than what one says when you get the story of the Inquisition from either a secular or Protestant angle. 
  • It was most interesting to see how so many things, entirely too many to list, correlated between what was going on during the time of the Inquisition and what is happening currently in the world today. 
  • One of the other interesting facts was that when compared to the persecution of the Christians in the first couple hundred years after the founding of the Church, during the height and decline of the Roman Empire, and the persecutions that happened in England after the Protestant Revolt, there were, when you really honestly look at the numbers, fewer deaths attributed to the Inquisition than the other two. Also, one thing that most tend to forget, is how the people themselves viewed the Inquisition-which was favorably.  
  • Where there those who missed used the courts of the Inquisition and the power granted them through it? Of course, but that is unfortunately part of human nature and having freewill. We are free to choose good or ill, light or darkness, love or hate. 
  • Characters of the Inquisition, was well written and not dull in the least bit. I really enjoyed how well William Thomas Walsh covered such a divisive historical event and the way his was able to cover both the positive and negative effects of the Inquisition. It was fascinating to see different opinions of the Inquisition that most historians overlook as it would color the time period in a way that does not fit their agenda.  
Final Verdict: Characters of the Inquisition- One of the "hot button" topics of history that looks as the Inquisition with all its good and bad. Building from the time of Moses up through the Spanish Inquisition, this book is well written and anything but boring. 

Characters of the Inquisition earns

A copy of this book was purchased, by me, for my reading pleasure. All thoughts are my own.

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