Originally Posted by Arduinna
Ok I checked out the links. Thanks for posting them, but it's not quite what I was looking for. I'm looking for historical info on what led up to them and the churches reasoning at the time. I'm not looking for modern day apologies, or the usual stuff vilifying the church, that is easy to find. I want to hear the perspectives held at the time by those making the decisions.
Which inquisition and during which period? The Inquisition was always a sort of stop and start kind of thing, dating from the persecution of the Cathars and other heretics in the 13th century (or, possibly, earlier).
There were independent inquisitions in Spain, Portugal, various independent duchies of what is now France, and the Italian city states, to name only a few. Also, each major city could have it's own, somewhat independent, inquisition. For example, in Portugal, there was an inquisitorial court in Lisbon, Evora, Coimbra, as well as in Goa. The Spanish set up inquisitorial courts in Cartagena, Lima, and Mexico City to police their colonies.
As genifer alluded to, there was always a very strong political component to the inquisitions. Also, some scholars maintain a strong economic motivation -- destroying the emergent middle classes -- for some of the inquisitions. Moreover, if someone was arrested by most inquisitions, his/her property was forfeit, so there was a strong motivation to arrest and convict so that revenue would keep flowing to the inquisition and, sometimes, to the powers that be in the government.
Because there was so little centralization of inquisitorial power, I'm not sure you're going to find what you're looking for. No one, at that time, is going to write, "I think it's all a crock but we have to do it because the King/Duke/whoever wants to get rid of dissent and maintain wealth."
Have you visited your local library? Done some online research? There's a good general (but weighty and very scholarly) history of the Spanish Inquisition by B. Netanyahu called "The Origins of the Inquisition." You might take a look at that.