Catharism was the most successful heresy of the Middle Ages. Believing themselves to be the true heirs to the true Christian heritage, the Cathars completely rejected the Catholic Church, and held their services in barns, fields, and people s homes.
Practitioners of vegetarianism, nonviolence and tolerance notably their liberal attitude towards women they gained support from the French nobility and popularity from the peasants and artisans. Their presence moved the Church to start the Inquisition and launched the Albigensian Crusade the first to be directed against fellow Christians -- which erased any traces of the Cathars. It was the first instance of European genocide.
This beautifully illustrated volume by the leading author on the subject unveils the mysteries surrounding the Cathars, their links with the Knights Templar, the Troubadors, and the search for the Holy Grail -- and draws stunning parallels with the present-day persecution of minorities around the world.