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God's Jury: The Inquisition and the Making of the Modern World


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Speaker(s): Cullen Murphy
Chair: Professor Alan Sked

Recorded on 31 January 2012 in Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House.

For centuries states have used their power to censor information, to conduct surveillance, to impose belief, to manipulate and to punish. Cullen Murphy's extraordinary, provocative new book which he will talk about in this lecture explores the idea that the Inquisition - the Catholic body that existed in Europe (and beyond) for over 700 years - is not a medieval oddity, but is intrinsically bound up with the creation of the modern world. Travelling from freshly opened Vatican archives to the detention camps of Guant√°namo and the filing cabinets of the Third Reich, he traces the Inquisition's legacy to show how, as time went on, its techniques became the standard operating procedure of secular persecution. Murphy explores the role of the Inquisition in a new phase in the battle between the individual private conscience and the forces that try to contain it.

This event marks the publication of his new book God's Jury: The Inquisition and the Making of the Modern World.

Cullen Murphy is Vanity Fair's editor at large and the author of Are We Rome? and The Word According to Eve. He was previously managing editor of The Atlantic Monthly.

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