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Doctor Factobend's Recantation in the Bird Basket at St Kilda, Scotland a plate from Dr Prosody (by William Combe 1821, ASIN: B007T2QPX8) at p248

Recantation means a personal public act of denial of a previously published opinion or belief , and is derived from the Latin retractionem (the nominative form of the verb retractio or the past participle of the noun retractareto, meaning "to pull back")


Philosophically recantation it is linked to a genuine change of opinion, often caused by a serious event which reveals a better or more complete representation of a presumed truth. For example, Recantation was the title of a 16th-century book by Bishop Augustine of Hippo correcting his former writings as a ordinary teacher of rhetoric prior to his becoming a cleric which he described as "a recantation of opinion with admission of error"

In classical Roman poetry, after deliberately describing something extravagantly or hyperbolically for memorable dramatic effect, recantation was used to briefly redefine the material subject fairly and honestly.


Religiously recantation may be required to avoid punishment or imposed to obtain pardon from a sin such as

In Protestantism, recantation may be requested by or ordered from an ecclesiastical authority such as a synod or ecumenical council

In the Roman Catholic Church, the Inquisition, Holy Office, or even on rare occasion the contemporary Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) required an act of renunciation to enforce an orthodoxy.

In a secular state if ordered to recant by religious authority, one who refused to recant may be anathematized or excommunicated or subject to social exclusion.

In a theocracy an order to recant may include threats of physical punishment such as prison or corporal punishment which may include death or lethal cruelty such as the burning at the stake suffered by Jeanne d'Arc.

Voltaire famously wrote in his novel Candide:

In this country of England it is thought well to kill an admiral from time to time to encourage the others!

See also[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recantation — Please support Wikipedia.
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1728 news items


Tue, 17 Mar 2015 16:26:15 -0700

Tempe police say an ASU student who claimed she was attacked by ASU linebacker Davon Durant has recanted her story, but prosecution is still continuing. Davon Durant, 21, is accused of two counts of domestic violence in the alleged attack. Police ...

The Canberra Times

The Canberra Times
Fri, 27 Mar 2015 05:22:30 -0700

"She's made the recantation, what more can she do?" he said. "To that extent, the damage is now done." He said the release of the prisoner to Perth with strict police reporting conditions and a surety would likely help manage the risk. "These kinds of ...


Thu, 26 Mar 2015 04:27:23 -0700

The lone exception to these humorous tales was the horrific recantation of the 2012 motorcycle accident involving husband and drummer Cactus Moser that resulted in him losing his left leg. But, with all these stories there seemed to be a central ...


Thu, 19 Mar 2015 12:49:09 -0700

With that recantation and the disputed medical evidence, Mike Ware, the lawyer, convinced a judge and the Bexar County District Attorney that the women were entitled to a new look at the case, and in the meantime could be freed. The women emerged from ...
Mon, 23 Mar 2015 01:38:35 -0700

(The presumed recantation, walking back on the two-state solution, is a cunning change-of-heart filled with caveats, expressed and implied, which fully negates a meaningful accommodation or approach to peace. Simply, Andrea Mitchell in her interview ...


Thu, 19 Mar 2015 12:40:39 -0700

Also on the recantation list is Yulon Jones. Jones, who testified she saw Phipps fire his gun, now says prosecutors threatened her with an obstruction charge unless she perjured herself. Several of these people are expected to attend a press conference ...
Worcester Telegram
Mon, 23 Mar 2015 01:37:30 -0700

Following his re-election last week, the prime minister suggested he hasn't changed his position on the two-state solution, leaving some to argue that his pre-election recantation was merely a political ploy. Yet, to maintain Israel's hegemony in the ...


Sun, 22 Mar 2015 21:06:46 -0700

Velis not only found Perez' partial recantation credible, but he went even further: “I do not credit Detective Pioggia's testimony that he never discussed with Perez the possibility of being charged as an accessory…” Nor, wrote the judge “do I credit ...

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