The New Inquisitions: Heretic-Hunting and the Intellectual Origins of Modern Totalitarianism

Paperback | July 27, 2006

byArthur Versluis

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The only book of its kind, The New Inquisitions is an exhilarating investigation into the intellectual origins of totalitarianism. Arthur Versluis unveils the connections between heretic hunting in early and medieval Christianity, and the emergence of totalitarianism in the twentieth century.He shows how secular political thinkers in the nineteenth century inaugurated a tradition of defending the Inquisition, and how Inquisition-style heretic-hunting later manifested across the spectrum of twentieth-century totalitarianism. An exceptionally wide-ranging work, The New Inquisitionsbegins with early Christianity, and traces heretic-hunting as a phenomenon through the middle ages and right into the twentieth century, showing how the same inquisitional modes of thought recur both on the political Left and on the political Right.

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The only book of its kind, The New Inquisitions is an exhilarating investigation into the intellectual origins of totalitarianism. Arthur Versluis unveils the connections between heretic hunting in early and medieval Christianity, and the emergence of totalitarianism in the twentieth century.He shows how secular political thinkers in t...

Arthur Versluis is a Professor of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Culture, Michigan State University.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:208 pages, 6.18 × 9.29 × 0.79 inPublished:July 27, 2006Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195306376

ISBN - 13:9780195306378

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"This is a timely and important book in which a major historian of western esotericism takes up the mantle of the public intellectual and demonstrates how the West's modern political pathologies stem back to the dualistic logic of the late medieval Inquisition and almost two millennia ofheretic-hunting. Versluis shows how this same irrational fear of religious dissent is disturbingly prevalent among intellectuals on both the right and the left. The result is a call for a return to that 'first America' of Jeffersonian pluralism, and a plea for a more mature religious view that canhelp us find our way out of that Cave of religious terror and political insanity in which we now all live." --Jeffrey J. Kripal, author of The Serpent's Gift: Gnostic Reflections on the Study of Religion