[Buddha-l] Inquisition

Dan Lusthaus vasubandhu at earthlink.net
Tue Sep 17 21:41:00 MDT 2013

> The Moors (and yes, we know this is a catch all Christian
> term for the various N. African groups), in the main, served a refuge for 
> Spanish Christians and Jews fleeing persecution, did not run inquisitions 
> for
> themselves nor persecute or expel (discriminate against, sure) Christians 
> or
> Jews. In this sense, "liberal" seems a good word to use.

In fact, the Islamic leaders not only persecuted Jews and Christians, but 
fellow Muslims who belonged to the "wrong" group, i.e., who had become too 
lenient (those were "liberal" ones), a phenomenon one can still read about 
in the daily news. Please read the two books I recommended, plus the one on 
Muslims in Spain I mentioned in a previous message. They provide detailed 
histories of what actually transpired in the Iberian peninsula from the 10th 
through 17th c. Again, this is too complex and too far afield to lay out in 
detail on this list.

> Initially the Muslim "converts" or
> moriscos, unlike the Jewish conversos, were not severely persecuted, but
> experienced a policy of evangelization without torture

They were treated at first with greater concessions, the explicit reason 
given by the original sources being that, unlike the Jews who had no 
political state to stand up for them, the Muslims had many states in which 
Christians lived, so treating Muslims too severely might result in 
reciprocation. See Harvey, _Muslims in Spain_. pp.19-20 for a translation of 
the original document laying this out. (so one doesn't have to rely on the 
speculations of historians)

But they too were subjected to tortures and increasing mistreatments. Edicts 
were passed intending to have them live interspersed amongs Old 
Christians -- which upset both the Muslim converts and the Old Christians --  
in order to better spy on them since they covered for and protected each 
other. Harvey documents the increasing edicts and their repercussions.

No one is denying that the inquisitions lacked a political dimension. But 
the reductionist claim that inquisition X is religious (exclusively? 
primarily?) and inquisition Y is political (exclusively) is not how things 
were. This entire thread began with claims that certain religiously grounded 
activities are better understood with purely secular "nationalist" etc. 
theories. That is a relatively modern distinction that doesn't apply to the 
nonmodern world, whether of centuries ago or the premodern inhabitants of 
our contemporary world.

By the way, Dog, do you have a name? It's common e-list courtesy to sign 
emails with one's actual name.


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