God’s Jury: The Inquisition and the Making of the Modern World
Subtitles advertising how some event “made” the modern world have become so common they beg to be ignored. Cullen Murphy becomes the latest to join the club in this new book examining the long shadow of the long-lived Catholic Inquisition, and shows how a medieval institution designed to extirpate heresy established canons of torture, surveillance, bureaucracy and censorship still with us today. Less interested in the history of the Inquisition than the Inquisition as history, Murphy travels around the world visiting various archives and interviewing scholars. And while he may not finally persuade readers that the Inquisition was essential to the making of the modern world, he does at least make the case for its continuing relevance.