The Perfect Heresy

The Perfect Heresy

The Revolutionary Life and Death of the Medieval Cathars

Book - 2000
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Baker & Taylor
Describes the growth of the Cathars, a group of thirteenth-century Christians with revolutionary ideas regarding women and sacraments, and discusses how the Church's response radically affected all of southern France.

McMillan Palgrave
Chronicles the life & death of the Cathar movement, led by a group of heretical Christians whose brutal suppression by the Catholic Church unleashed the Inquisition.

Book News
Canadian-born O'Shea is a journalist rather than a historian, so draws from secondary accounts and published primary sources rather than dusty archival material to tell the story of how a Christian sect in southern France was exterminated in the 13th and 14th centuries. In lively prose jeweled with vignettes and anecdotes reconstructed from legal testimony, he argues that the Albigensian Crusade was above all a colonial effort by the nascent French state to occupy and exploit the Occitan-speaking people of the south. Much literature has surfaced in the past few decades, some of it by the Cathars themselves, and he passes along what is now known about their beliefs and practices, though his main focus is political and military. The jacket includes praise from Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, distinguished historian and author of Montaillou . Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Publisher: New York : Walker & Co., 2000
ISBN: 9780802713506
Characteristics: xiii, 333 p. : ill., maps ; 21 cm


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