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From the Publisher"A powerful book. . . . Expertly researched . . . frequently insightful and wonderfully discussable. I welcome it with enthusiasm."—Robert Lerner, The Medieval Review
"A well-written and fascinating analysis of the power structure (and the meaning of power) of the ecclesiastical inquisition in southern France."—Virginia Quarterly Review
"This is the first serious attempt ever made by a historian to get behind the documents and study the sociopolitical context within which the Inquisition operated. Given brings to bear not only his own deep knowledge of medieval history but also extensive reading in modern social history and sociology. With these insights, he has produced a highly sophisticated and convincing analysis of the role of the medieval Inquest within its social context. . . . This study is brilliant; it is superbly researched, carefully constructed, and lucidly written."—Henry Kamen, American Historical Review, April, 1999.
"A readable and interesting account of the grim determination and efficiency with which the inquisitors in southern France carried out their jobs. They succeeded surprisingly well in their task. Given does not assess the justness of their inquisitorial enterprise, only its working mechanism."—Journal of Interdisciplinary History
"A strongly focused and accessible book . . . fluently and clearly written and a joy to read. . . This is a neat, disciplined, and authoritative study, an enjoyable and worthwhile addition which earns its place in an already crowded field. . . A rewarding and fascinating read."—Journal of Religious History
"Given's approach is new and provides an unassumingly theorised but nuanced account of inquisitorial activity and the sometimes unexpected, indeed unwanted, outcomes of the inquisitors' labours. . . . I thoroughly enjoyed Inquisition and Medieval Society. It is well-written and full of lively examples, and Given's three-pronged approach to the inquisition redresses some of the inadequacies of earlier top-down accounts. I find his use of various sociological theories fruitful, and appreciate such a historical monograph which . . . provides a model of the integration of theory and empirical research."—Kathleen Troup, University of Waikato, Parergon. July 1999.
"A book of exceptional scholarly merit that adds considerably to our detailed knowledge of the inquisitorial office."—Ed Peters, University of Pennsylvania