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Ideology and Inquisition: The World of the Censors in Early Mexico

Ideology and Inquisition: The World of the Censors in Early Mexico
Author: Martin Austin Nesvig
ISBN 13: 9780300140408
ISBN 10: 300140401
Edition: N/A
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication Date: 2009-09-01
Format: Paperback
Pages: 384
List Price: $65.00

This book is the first comprehensive treatment in English of the ideology and practice of the Inquisitional censors, focusing on the case of Mexico from the 1520s to the 1630s. Others have examined the effects of censorship, but Martin Nesvig employs a nontraditional approach that focuses on the inner logic of censorship in order to examine the collective mentality, ideological formation, and practical application of ideology of the censors themselves.


Nesvig shows that censorship was not only about the regulation of books but about censorship in the broader sense as a means to regulate Catholic dogma and the content of religious thought. In Mexico, decisions regarding censorship involved considerable debate and disagreement among censors, thereby challenging the idea of the Inquisition as a monolithic institution. Once adapted to cultural circumstances in Mexico, the Inquisition and the Index produced not a weapon of intellectual terror but a flexible apparatus of control.