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The Bridge of San Luis Rey Historical Context

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Historical Context

The Inquisition

The Inquisition was a judicial process instituted by the Papacy to investigate and try those charged with opposing the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. It was prevalent in Europe from 1184 on, in one form or another until 1836, and was enacted in some European colonies such as Peru.

The point of the Inquisition was to investigate and prosecute charges of heresy. Throughout the late 1400s and early 1500s, a number of secular governments helped the church in persecuting people deemed to be insufficiently pious. The church established a formal Inquisition in Rome in the 1500s, under the control of a board of cardinals answering to the pope. The Italian Inquisition followed court process, allowing defendants to answer charges against them and to appeal convictions. Sentences were often fines or brief imprisonment.

The most brutal phase of the Inquisition occurred in the late 1400s in Spain. There...

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This section contains 679 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Bridge of San Luis Rey Study Guide
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The Bridge of San Luis Rey from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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