The Roman Catholic Church's Index

By Cera Schachter

Precursors to the Creation of the Index
Lifespan of the Index
Repercussions of not Following the Index
Demise of the Index
Work Cited


Throughout the centuries the church has had a major influence on the way devout Roman Catholics have lived their lives. The church has told its followers what is and what is not acceptable, in order to serve God to the best of their abilities. This has been done through such things as banning certain contraceptive methods, by not allowing divorce as well as by banning books. The banning of books is what will be looked at within this paper. The Roman Catholic Church banned certain books and made an index of all these banned books. The index is called the Roman Catholic Index Librorum Prohibitorum or in English the Index of Prohibited Books. In this paper we will look at the history of the Index Librorum Prohibitorum, which includes the precursors to creating the Index, the lifespan of the Index as well as the demise of the Index. Within the lifespan of the Index we will look closer at the rise and fall of the Index, what rules there were for choosing books to be placed on the Index as well as how effective the Index was at prohibiting people from reading the books that were written within the Index.

This paper was originally written in December 2006 as part of the course requirements for LIS 586: History of the Book.
It has been updated and converted to a web document to meet the requirements of LIS 600: Capping Exercise.
Created by Cera Schachter on February 27,2007.