Index Librorum Prohibitorum

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Index Librorum Prohibitorum


(Index of Forbidden Books), an official list, published by the Vatican, of books which the Catholic Church forbade its members to read upon threat of excommunication.

The Index was first issued as directed by Pope Paul IV in 1559. It was reissued more than 40 times (the latest edition dates from 1948), and during this process it was systematically enlarged.

The Index listed many of the finest creations of human thought, such as the works of G. Bruno, T. Hobbes, and Voltaire. In.the hands of the Catholic Church the Index was one of the means used in the struggle against science, as well as against progressive and revolutionary views. In 1966 publication of the Index Librorum Prohibitorum in its previous form was ceased. At the same time the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and conferences of bishops were charged with the task of keeping track of new editions of books and with warning church members against reading books not approved by the church.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Index librorum prohibitorum

list of forbidden books compiled by Roman Catholic Church. [Christian Hist.: NCE, 1323]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
On a serious note, the works of most of the philosophers mentioned above were officially banned by the Catholic church and included in the Index of Prohibited Books (or Index Librorum Pohibitorum, to give it its impressive Latin name.)
Suspicion of the new technology by Church leaders and its vigorous use to spread the reformers' doctrines led to the first Index of Prohibited Books, finalized in 1564.
In the meeting of the Congregation of the Index on 16 April 1757, it was decided to suppress the clause "all books teaching ..." (Libri omnes docentes) from the Decrees of 1616-1620, and the clause does not appear in the Index of Prohibited Books of 1758.
Nonetheless, as a result of Galileo's aggressive insistence on the physical reality of the Copernican system, De revolutionibus was placed on the index of prohibited books in 1616.
In 1559 Pope Paul IV established the Index of Prohibited Books. The grave danger presented to established authority by the printing press was that controversial speech could be disseminated more rapidly to a wider audience.
The subsequent affair also includes episodes such as the Church's acceptance of Copernicanism through the removal from the 1835 Index of Prohibited Books of Galileo's Dialogue and Copernicus's De revolutionibus; the declaration that scripture is not a scientific authority in Pope Leo XIII's encyclical Providentissimus Deus (1893); and the partial rehabilitation of Galileo by Pope John Paul II (1979-92).
This theory in turn informed the creation of the Index of Prohibited Books issued by the Spanish Inquisition.
Perhaps the most famous banned book list ever is the Catholic Church's now defunct Index of Prohibited Books. Established by Pope Paul IV in 1557, the Index was first published by the Congregation of the Inquisition two years later.
1555 Pope Paul IV places the Prince and the Discourses by former papal ambassador Niccolo Machiavelli on the Index of Prohibited Books.
But by the middle of the century, schoolmasters that used them became suspect, and in the first papal Index of Prohibited Books (1559) even the strictly grammatical and rhetorical works were proscribed.
The remainder of the book is concerned with sixteenth-century proposals for the censorship of the Lives that Bauer uncovered in the archives of the Index of Prohibited Books stored in the Archives of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which were opened to scholars in 1998.
Which measure of orthodoxy should scholars apply: the Council of Trent, which met after Erasmus's death; the Index of Prohibited Books, which censured Erasmus's publications and was suppressed in 1966; the Second Vatican Council, which issued no disciplinary canons and did not define dogmas?

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