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My New Book Out Now

2020-06-04T14:25:21+00:00March 11th, 2020|

Between Popes, Inquisitors and Princes How the first Jesuits negotiated the religious crisis in early modern ItalyWhen the first Jesuits arrived in Italy in 1538, nobody could have predicted that they would soon be the most important religious order in Europe. Up until then, this motley group of young men had been plagued by misfortune, suspicion and venomous accusations of heresy. Their quest to save souls had also been blighted by grave circumstances. For, as these young men travelled to Rome, the continent was facing unprecedented religious and political crisis. In the wake of Martin Luther’s condemnation of Catholicism, leaders of [...]

New article for History Today’s April edition: The Inquisition’s Secret Weapon

2020-04-03T14:25:54+00:00March 11th, 2020|

In a new article for History Today, I expose the secret weapon of the sixteenth-century Roman Inquisition: a new religious order called the Society of Jesus, also known as the Jesuits. Most people have only a hazy notion of the popes’ Roman Inquisition, yet many are confident that violence and fear were its main means of dealing with those who had erred from Catholic teaching. Interrogation, fires and torture were all very real elements of the inquisitors' work; elements that struck terror into hearts across early modern Europe and persist in the popular imagination. But these fearsome tactics are far from the full picture. [...]

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