Learn the history of the Spanish Inquisition with iMinds insightful audio knowledge series. The Spanish Inquisition was a governing authority started by the crown in the late-fifteenth century. It included a network of spies who worked across the state to ensure Spaniards conformed to the accepted behavior of traditional Catholic subjects. It was relentless in ensuring Catholic orthodoxy within Spain. But why was Spain so self-conscious in ensuring a singular religious identity?
Let's go back to the year 711. Muslim armies from North Africa successfully conquer much of the Iberian Peninsula, leaving only pockets of resistance in the North. There is Islamic rule in at least part of Spain for the most part of the next eight centuries. But the small areas of resistance are the start of the reconquista meaning "reconquest". Jump forward now 740 years. It is 1451 and Mehmed II ascends to the throne of the Ottoman Empire.
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Between the 15th and 19th centuries the Spanish Inquisition led a brutal campaign against Muslims, Jews, and Protestants, thousands of whom were executed. Actor Luca James Lee hosts this survey of the Spanish Crown's relentless, heavy-handed pursuit of a singularly Catholic Spain. Listener's will understand the historical context for the inquisition, as Lee explores the historically tumultuous relationship between Muslims and Catholics of the Iberian peninsula, and examines the threat to Spain from the Ottoman Empire, the desire to consolidate the Reconquista, and the role played by monarchs such as Ferdinand of Aragon, Isabella of Castille, and Phillip II. In his seemingly bottomless baritone, Lee strikes a chilling tone, but nevertheless adds the fluidity, pacing, and objectivity of a seasoned documentarian to the proceedings.
"I'm learning all sorts of stuff about stuff I didn't even know I didn't know. And it sticks. In a nutshell: wonderful." (Jonathon Margolis, Financial Times)
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