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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

  • Heresy (wrong choice) which means questioning or doubting dogmatic established beliefs
  • Blasphemy (evil-speaking) which is the act of insulting or showing contempt for a religious deity.
  • Apostasy which implies either revolt against or renunciation or abandonment of a prescribed religious duty, especially disloyalty sedition and defection

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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768 videos foundNext > 

Luther (2003) - His answer about the recantation.


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1415 news items

Coeur d'Alene Press
Thu, 16 Jul 2015 05:39:02 -0700

"I was never sexually or inappropriately touched," the teen testified on Tuesday, reaffirming remarks she made in a post-recantation deposition. Bonner County Prosecutor Louis Marshall questioned whether the about-face was in response to being ...

Times Herald-Record

Times Herald-Record
Tue, 28 Jul 2015 17:00:00 -0700

To qualify for review, the convicted defendant or a representative must submit a written claim of innocence based on a supported claim of misidentification, false confession, witness recantation, untruthful informants or confirmation of an alibi. The ...
Sat, 18 Apr 2015 18:18:27 -0700

MANILA, Philippines - Justice Secretary Leila de Lima does not seem to buy the recantation of a witness in the bribery charge against the Ampatuans and several Department of Justice (DOJ) officials and prosecutors. De Lima said Friday she has directed ...

Huffington Post

Huffington Post
Tue, 21 Jul 2015 12:26:00 -0700

But even if Sneed finds the courage to come forward, there is no assurance that the courts will accept his recantation. In the modern era of capital punishment, 10 men have been executed despite strong evidence of their innocence. Their case histories ...


Mon, 20 Jul 2015 09:39:04 -0700

He had no choice but to apologize the next day, although it was clear he meant not one word of the recantation. Eskin, a loudmouth by trade at my radio station (WIP) and on Fox29, called the ESPYs “a freak show,” before apologizing the next day in a ...

The Legal Intelligencer

The Legal Intelligencer
Mon, 20 Jul 2015 16:37:30 -0700

At a hearing on that petition, Bowen recanted his recantation and Munchinski's petition was denied in 1993. Two subsequent petitions were denied in 2000 and 2001, Shwartz said. In 1998, Munchinski filed a habeas petition, which was denied. That ...

NBC Montana

NBC Montana
Sun, 24 May 2015 11:16:37 -0700

Cody Marble was convicted in 2002. Eight years later, the person he was convicted of raping recanted his story. The man later reneged on that recantation, saying officials with the Montana Innocence Project who were helping Marble had badgered him into it.


Thu, 16 Jul 2015 18:28:36 -0700

The judge said he respected jurors' decision in April to convict Booker of sexually abusing the girl for years despite her recantation in court. “That being said, there was certain testimony that I can weigh in regards to punishment as well, including ...

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