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International Socialism, Summer 1966


Manuel Macedo

Dei Ad Gloriam


From International Socialism (1st series), No.25, Summer 1966, p.33.
Thanks to Ted Crawford & the late Will Fancy.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


The Spanish Inquisition
Henry Kamen
Weidenfeld, 45s

Dr Kamen, in this new examination of the Inquisition, relates that particular period of Spanish history to society as a whole. He points out that it

was very much part of the development of society and that it reflected the ideals and aims of the Spanish nobility. He does try, however, to exculpate the Holy Office from some of the accusations that are usually laid against it, but it is quite clear that the church in Spain and Italy condoned the tribunals which took place. These barbarous methods to exterminate ‘alien’ peoples by mass trial were something new, and Dr Kamen makes it clear that they took place in order to protect the ideology of the Spanish aristocracy. They were conclusively and decisively a retrogressive step in Spanish history, carried out in the name of Christianity under the title of ‘mercy and justice.’ Over the period of a few hundred years one can see quite plainly their social effects. The backwardness of Spanish society in comparison with the new developments in England and France was outstanding. The discovery of the New World at least had some compensation for the Church and the upper classes. Plundering and exploiting in the name of Christianity was now directed towards the Americas.

In Dr Kamen’s final sentences he says,

‘There was a time once when the banner of the Inquisition stood in every continent of the world and in every corner of the monarchy on which the sun was reputed never to set. Today, nearly two centuries after the sunset of that empire, there is a need for the ending of myths and the beginning of reconciliation.’

What ‘myths?’ Try telling that to the heretics on the burning stakes, or the Moors in Granada. How can there be reconciliation on such issues?

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