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Master Sancho Research Paper

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Books can be a source of great knowledge or great danger depending how they are used. The inquisition sought to protect the people from this perceived threat by banning books they deemed heretical and thus hazardous. The consultation of Master Sancho is a written exchange between a scholar and a religious authority discussing whether one could own sacrilegious books and still be a good catholic, or if merely owning them made you a heretic. In 1558 there was a major banning of books in Spain decreed by the Suprema, a religious legislative body led by the inquisitor-general. That same year, Francisco Sancho, a scholar and professor at the University of Salamanca, a city of scholars in the area of Castile and Leon, centered on the university there, inquired as to the boundaries of this new ban, namely if he would be excommunicated if he owned heretical books as stated by the ban. The basis of the ban was directed at anything heretical or opposing the Catholic Church. This was in response to the Protestant reformation and enlightenment in general. The ban covered books of philosophy as well as medicine and non-Christian theology, such as the Quran and Judaic literature. It is…show more content…
For instance, he questioned the legitimacy of the suprema’s ability to actually complete their threat of the book ban. Later on, he admits to owning heretical books and contemplates what to do with them. Throughout the document, he rearticulates the question as to whether he could own and continue to use heretical books if the heresy was edited out. He pondered if such books would be allowed if solely for an educational purpose, namely the use of Erasmus for the practice of Latin grammar. He generalized statements using vague phrasings such as just saying “edicts”, as opposed to specifying which edicts, referring to “some people” without giving names or explicit
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