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Title: The Inquisition and the Repression of Erotic and Pornographic Imagery in Early Nineteenth-Century Madrid
Contributor(s): Soyer, Francois  (author)
Publication Date: 2018
DOI: 10.1111/1468-229x.12545
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Abstract: This article focuses on the repression of erotic and pornographic imagery (artworks, statues and figurines) by the Inquisition in Madrid during the last six years of its existence between 1814 and 1820. This period in the Inquisition's history has tended to be overlooked and dismissed as insignificant. After tracing the history of the Spanish Inquisition's desultory attempts in earlier years to suppress sexual imagery deemed to offend public piety, this article examines an unusual cluster of cases involving erotic or pornographic images during those six years. The article examines these cases and argues that we need to eschew simplistic narratives in which historians have presented the Inquisition as a moribund institution pathetically pursuing insignificant cases. The documentary evidence suggests that the inquisitors in Madrid were, if anything, fiercely determined to restore the fortunes of the Inquisition and its position within the absolutist monarchy of King Fernando VII. The inquisitors' campaign against erotic and pornographic imagery was, alongside a focus on freemasonry, part of a quest for political and social legitimacy in a changing and increasingly hostile environment.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: History, 103(354), p. 60-81
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Place of Publication: United Kingdom
ISSN: 0018-2648
Field of Research (FOR): 220401 Christian Studies (incl. Biblical Studies and Church History)
210307 European History (excl. British, Classical Greek and Roman)
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 950404 Religion and Society
950504 Understanding Europe's Past
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

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