chapter  2
26 Pages

Heresy and Political Legitimacy in Al-Andalus

ByMaribel Fierro

The inquisitor Bernard Gui observed in the early fourteenth century that heresy cannot be destroyed unless heretics are destroyed. Bernardi Guidonis Practica P. iv, as cited in H. C. Lea, The Inquisition of the Middle Ages. Medieval clergy could construct heresy out of almost nothing, as Robert Lerner demonstrated that they did in the case of the heresy of the Free Spirit, existing only within the discourse of the 1311 Council of Vienne. The issues raised by Gui's approach and in the case of the Free Spirit apply just as much to earlier heresy and inquests apparently uncovering it. The author says in the case of dualism in southern France, most historiography is still dominated by an understanding of Catharism posited most convincingly by Bernard Hamilton, See his Monastic Reform, Catharism and the Crusades, in particular The Cathar Council of Saint Flix Reconsidered. What Catharism was and where it came from is by no means universally agreed.