The Crusades and the Inquisition Revisited

January 10, 2014

The Crusades and the Inquisition are two large portmanteau terms often believed to hold just about anything bad about the Catholic Church’s history, proving once and for all that Christianity really does reduce to fanaticism if left to its own devices. But this skeptical narrative contains deep problems of its own, and deserves a fresh examination. Fr. John Vidmar, O.P., associate professor of history at Providence College, recently wrote a short work that aimed to address the most commonly asked questions about these two easily misunderstood eras in Church history. Entitled 101 Questions and Answers on the Crusades and the Inquisition: Disputed Questions (Paulist Press, 2013), the book takes seriously the historical witness regarding these events, as well as the concerns of contemporary men and women about their legacy in the modern world. Fr. Vidmar is currently on sabbatical, revising his 2005 history work The Catholic Church through the Ages, in addition to other projects.

Image: Pedro Berruguete – St Dominic Presiding at an Auto-de-fe (detail)

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