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Banned Literature

Research and information on censorship and banned literature

Banning Literature on Religious Grounds

Banned literature is one example of censorship that we decided to dig further into for this project. Banning/challenging of books can be used to compare censorship over time because, while the internet, movies, and news may be more relevant to today, books are a constant that not only had an impact on the past, but also impact today.

The Index Librorum Prohibitorum,also known as the Index of Forbidden Texts, was a list of material banned by the Catholic Church.  The Index was originally published in the 1500's with the last edition published in 1948.  The books and articles listed were banned in order to protect followers from immoral or blasphemous material.  In 1966, the Church officially ceased the support and use of the Forbidden Index. 

We used the Index to create a catalog of books and articles the Loras Library has on its shelves that are also on the Index.  The goal was two-fold.  On one hand, we were able to see vast types of texts that landed on the forbidden index.  All of which simply contained ideas that were contrary to the beliefs of the Church.  The second purpose was to bring attention to the number of materials that Loras has available for the students.  Although Loras is a Catholic College, it is also an institution of learning.  And in order to educate students and teach critical thinking skills, Loras provides access to information.

Photo of Inside Cover

notice of book on index image

The inside cover of a book that was on the Index of Forbidden Books.

Index Links

Below is a catalog of books that were placed on the Index of Forbidden Texts that are currently housed in the Loras College Library. 

The Index in its entirety can be found online through the Beacon for Freedom of Expression here.

Author Title Date It Was Banned
Abelard, Pierre The Letters Habelard and Heloise 1120
Alighieri, Dante Boethius and Dante  
Alighieri, Dante Boethius and Dante  
Alighieri, Dante The Vision (The Divine Comedy)  
Althusius, Johannes Politica 1615
Balzac, Honore de The Human Comedy 1841
Barret, Guilelmus lus Regis 1612
Bergson, Henri Creative Evolution 1914
Bergson, Henri Matter and Memory 1914
Browne, Thomas Religio Medici 1645
Brutus, Stephanus Junius A Defense of Liberty against Tyrants: a Translation of the Vindiciae Contra Tyrannos 1613
Burnet, Gilbert Bishop Burnet's History of His Own Time 1731
Burnet, Gilbert Bishop Burnet's History of His Own Time 1731
Burnet, Gilbert Bishop Burnet's History of His Own Time 1731
Burnet, Gilbert The History of the Reformation of the Church of England 1688
Canfield, Benoit de The Rule of Perfection 1689
Gibbon, Edward The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire 1783
Graf, Arturo Art of the Devil  1892
Grafigny, Francoise de Letters of a Peruvian Woman 1765
Hallam, Henry View of the State of Europe during the Middle Ages 1833
Heine, Heinrich New Poems  1833-1954 
Hugo, Victor Les Miserables 1864
Hugo, Victor The Hunchback of Notre-Dame 1834
John Chrysostom, Saint The Homilies of S. John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople, on the Epistle of S. Paul the Apostle to the Romans 1687
Kant, Immanuel Critique of Pure Reason 1793-1939
Kant, Immanuel Critique of Pure Reason 1793-1939
Kant, Immanuel Critique of Pure Reason 1827
Lamartine, Alphonse de Jocelyn, Episode 1836
Larousse, Pierre Great Universal Dictionary of the Nineteenth Century 1873
Lenfant, Jacques Histoire du Concile de Constance 1715-1757
Leti, Gregorio The History of the Cardinals of the Roman Church 1668
Leti, Gregorio The Life of Pope Sixtus the Fifth 1667-1702
Leusden, Johannes The Greek-Hebrew Philosophies and Questions in the New Testament 1742
Limbroch, Philippus van The Practice of Piety and the Peace of a Christian-only Theology 1725
Lipsius, Justus Letters from the 18th Century 1626
Llorente, Juan Antonio A Critical History of the Inquisition of Spain 1822
Locke, John An Essay Concerning Human Understanding v.1 1734
Locke, John An Essay Concerning Human Understanding v.2 1734
Locke, John An Essay Concerning Human Understanding v.3 1734
Locke, John An Essay Concerning Human Understanding 1734
Lohner, Tobias Instruction for Practical Confessions and Fruitful Reception 1728
Loisy, Alfred The Origins of the New Testament 1938
Luther, Martin Address to the German Nobility Concerning Christian Liberty 1517-1521
Machiavelli, Niccolo The Prince 1555
Machiavelli, Niccolo Discourses on Livy 1555
Maimbourg, Louis The History of the Pope, Gregory the Great 1687
Malebranche, Nicolas The Search after Truth 1707
Malebranche, Nicolas Dialogues on Metaphysics and Religion 1712
Malespini, Celio Ducento Novelle 1617
Mandeville, Bernard de The Fable of the Bees; or Private Vices 1744
Mantegazza, Paolo Physiology of Love 1886
Marmontel, Jean-Francois Belisaire 1767
Mayr, Beda Defense of the Catholic Religion 1792
Merle d'Aubigne, Jean Henri History of the Great Reformation of the Sixteenth Century 1852
Mignet, Francois-Auguste-Alexis History of the French Revolution from 1789 to 1814 1825
Mill, John Stuart Principles of Political Economy 1856
Milton, John Paradise Lost  
Milton, John Paradise Lost  
Milton, John Paradise Lost 1758
Milton, John Paradise Lost  
Montaigne, Michel de Essays 1595, 1676
Montesquieu, Charles de Secondat baron de Persian Letters 1762
Montesquieu, Charles de Secondat baron de The Spirit of Laws 1751
Pascal, Blaise Les Pensees 1789
Pascal, Blaise Les Pensees 1789
Renan, Ernest Souvenirs d'enfance et de jeunesse 1892
Richardson, Samuel Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded 1744
Richardson, Samuel Pamela 1744
Roscoe, William The Life and Pontificate of Leo the Tenth 1825
Roscoe, William The Life and Pontificate of Leo the Tenth 1825
Roscoe, William The Life and Pontificate of Leo the Tenth: in Four Volumes 1825
Rousseau, Jean-Jacques Collection complète des œuvres de J.J. Rousseau  
Rousseau, Jean-Jacques La Nouvelle Héloïse 1806, 1935-1936
Rousseau, Jean-Jacques Social contract; Discourse on the Virtue . . . 1766
Sabatier, Paul Vie de s. Francois d'Assise 1894
Sade, Marquis de Justine or the Misfortunes of Virtue 1791-1962
Savonarola, Girolamo Selected Writings of Girolamo Savonarola 1497-1498
Smith, Thomas An Account of the Greek Church: as to Its Doctrine and Rites of Worship . . . 1717
Spinoza, Benedictus de The Chief Works of Benedict de Spinoza 1679
Strauss, David Friedrich The Christ of Faith and the Jesus of History: a Critique of Schleiermacher's Life of Jesus 1838
Vinnius, Arnoldus Arnoldi Vinnii J.C. In quatuor libros Institutionum imperialium commentarius academicus & forensis 1550-1724
Voltaire Philosophical Dictionary 1765
Voltaire Philosophical Letters 1752
Yorick A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy  
Zola, Emile Nana  
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