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Intro to History: Heretics on Trial: The Holy Inquisition and Its Enemies
HIST 173
Fall 2024
Section: 01  
Crosslisting: LAST 126

The Inquisition was among the most feared institutions of the early modern West. In its efforts to impose religious orthodoxy, it persecuted minorities, prohibited behaviors it deemed heretical--like magic and unbelief--and censored intellectual inquiry. Yet despite its resoluteness, the ability of the Catholic Church to impose control varied widely across time and place and was often met with equally firm resistance. This introductory course examines how the Catholic Inquisition functioned, from its origins in the medieval period to its final demise in the nineteenth century, paying particular attention to geographic and temporal specificities. From Cartagena de Indias to Lima, Goa, Rome, and Toledo, inquisitorial tribunals spanned a significant portion of the Atlantic world. The records produced by its scribes are some of the richest sources of the social, cultural, religious, and economic history of the era, yet they are also some of the most challenging to deal with, both epistemologically and morally. Historians have relied on Inquisition archives to reconstruct the lives of individuals and communities who left no other written records, all the while seeking to acknowledge that the records were produced under duress by officials who suspected the accused of the terrible crime of heresy. Through a wide range of primary sources like trial transcriptions, Inquisition "autobiographies," written confessions, censored books, and literary sources, students will both survey the lives of people who faced the Inquisition's scrutiny, while considering the role of violence, persecution, and resistance in the creation of the very records that allow for historical reconstruction.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: SBS HIST
Course Format: DiscussionGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (HIST-MN)(HIST)(LAST)
Past Enrollment Probability: 75% - 89%

Last Updated on JUL-14-2024
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