God's Jury shows how the creation of the Inquisition epitomized the moment when the West passed from one kind of world to another, and when persecution acquired a distinctly modern platform: requiring record-keeping, a law system, communication structures, bureaucracy, an educated professional class - and a terrifying sense of certainty.
Exploring the Inquisition from its establishment in 1231 onwards, Murphy argues that not only did its offices survive into the twentieth century, its spirit lingers on in the modern world too. Travelling from freshly opened Vatican archives to the detention camps of Guantanamo and the filing cabinets of the Third Reich, he traces the Inquisition's legacy to show how, as time went on, its techniques became the standard operating procedure of secular persecution.
With vivid immediacy and authority, God's Jury portrays the Inquisition as a new phase in the battle between the individual private conscience and the forces that try to contain it. It is, Murphy argues, a central contest of the modern era and the centuries that lie ahead.