Inquisition and Medieval Society: Power, Discipline, and Resistance in Languedoc by James Buchanan GivenInquisition and Medieval Society: Power, Discipline, and Resistance in Languedoc by James Buchanan Given

Inquisition and Medieval Society: Power, Discipline, and Resistance in Languedoc

byJames Buchanan Given

Paperback | December 3, 2001

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James B. Given analyzes the inquisition in one French region in order to develop a sociology of medieval politics. Established in the early thirteenth century to combat widespread popular heresy, inquisitorial tribunals identified, prosecuted, and punished heretics and their supporters. The inquisition in Languedoc was the best documented of these tribunals because the inquisitors aggressively used the developing techniques of writing and record keeping to build cases and extract confessions.Using a Marxist and Foucauldian approach, Given focuses on three inquiries: what techniques of investigation, interrogation, and punishment the inquisitors worked out in the course of their struggle against heresy; how the people of Languedoc responded to the activities of the inquisitors; and what aspects of social organization in Languedoc either facilitated or constrained the work of the inquisitors. Punishments not only inflicted suffering and humiliation on those condemned, he argues, but also served as theatrical instruction for the rest of society about the terrible price of transgression. Through a careful pursuit of these inquires, Given elucidates medieval society's contribution to the modern apparatus of power.

James B. Given is Professor of History at the University of California at Irvine. He is the author of State and Society in Medieval Europe, also from Cornell, and Society and Homicide in Thirteenth-Century England.
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Title:Inquisition and Medieval Society: Power, Discipline, and Resistance in LanguedocFormat:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.62 inPublished:December 3, 2001Publisher:Cornell University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0801487595

ISBN - 13:9780801487590

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Editorial Reviews

"This is the first serious attempt ever made by a historian to get behind the documents and study the sociopolitical context within which the Inquisition operated. Given brings to bear not only his own deep knowledge of medieval history but also extensive reading in modern social history and sociology. With these insights, he has produced a highly sophisticated and convincing analysis of the role of the medieval Inquest within its social context.... This study is brilliant; it is superbly researched, carefully constructed, and lucidly written." - Henry Kamen - American Historical Review