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Between Court and Confessional. The Politics of Spanish Inquisitors

Kimberly Lynn

Kimberly Lynn, Between Court and Confessional. The Politics of Spanish Inquisitors, Cambridge University Press, 2014, ISBN 9781107031166, 60 pounds.

Between Court and Confessional explores the lives of Spanish inquisitors, closely examining the careers and writings of five sixteenth- and seventeenth-century inquisitors. Kimberly Lynn considers what shaped particular inquisitors, what kinds of official experience each accumulated, and to what ends each directed his acquired knowledge and experience. The case studies examine the complex interplay of careerism and ideological commitments evident in inquisitorial activities. Whereas many studies of the Spanish Inquisition tend to depict inquisitors as faceless and interchangeable, Lynn probes the lives of individual inquisitors to show how inquisitors’ operations in their social, political, religious and intellectual worlds set the Inquisition in motion. By focusing on specific individuals, this study explains how the theory and regulations of the Inquisition were rooted in local conditions, particular disputes and individual experiences.