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

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Cornell University Press, 2001 - 272 pages

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.

 

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Table des matières

Introduction
1
THE INQUisitors AND THEIRTECHNIQUEs
23
The Technology of Coercive Imprisonment
52
The Technology of Punishment
66
Responses To THE INQUISITORs
91
Forms of Collective Resistance
111
Manipulation
141
THE Social AND PoliticAl Context
167
Structural Constraints
191
Conclusion The Inquisitors and the Exercise of Political Power
213
Bibliography
221
Index
241
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À propos de l'auteur (2001)

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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