Banned Books: Literature Suppressed on Religious Grounds by Margaret Bald

By Margaret Bald

[b]Literature Suppressed on spiritual Grounds:[\b] Examines the background and matters surrounding the censorhip of works banned for his or her spiritual content material, together with "The final Temptation of Christ" by means of Nikos Kazantzakis, "Children of the Alley" by means of Naguib Mahfouz, and "The Witches" by way of Roald Dahl.

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In 1551, the Index of Valladolid listed 103 editions condemned because of errors and heresies to suppression, correction, or cancellation. The restoration of papal authority, ecclesiastical courts, and the laws against heresy in England under the Catholic regime of Mary I reconfirmed the ban on Protestant Bibles. In 1555, a royal proclamation commanded “that no manner of persons presume to bring into this realm any manuscripts, books, papers . . in the name of Martin Luther, John Calvin, Miles Coverdale, Erasmus, Tyndale .

Twentieth-century government censorship of the Bible has been most widespread in socialist countries. In 1926, the Soviet government instructed libraries throughout the USSR to remove all religious books such as the Bible. It was allowed to remain only in the country’s largest libraries. Its importation was forbidden, and it was not printed again in the Soviet Union until 1956. In China, during the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s and 1970s—a campaign to destroy “the four olds” of culture, thinking, habits, and customs—Bibles were burned, and all places of Christian worship were closed.

Declaring that no major biblical figure could have committed actions he found unacceptable, Bellamy decided that the translation from Hebrew must be at fault, and he revised passages he considered indecent. The New Family Bible and Improved Version, by Dr. Benjamin Boothroyd, a Congregationalist who wanted to circumvent “many offensive and indelicate expressions” in the Bible, was published in several editions beginning in 1824. That year, in The Holy Bible Arranged and Adapted for Family Reading, John Watson, a Church of England layman, replaced offensive sections with his own writing and dropped the numbering of traditional chapters and verses so that it was difficult for readers to notice what had been cut.

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