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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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Luther (2003) - His answer about the recantation.


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720 videos foundNext > 

1415 news items

Coeur d'Alene Press
Wed, 24 Jun 2015 00:48:03 -0700

The recantation came two days before Johnson was to be sentenced on lewd conduct charges in 1st District Court. Johnson, 32, and her husband, Ernest "E.J." Ray Johnson III, were indicted by a Bonner County grand jury of repeatedly sexually abusing six ...
The Union of Grass Valley
Wed, 01 Jul 2015 23:56:15 -0700

The defense attorney for a local man charged with multiple counts of molesting three girls is seeking to quash evidence obtained via a search warrant involving texts and emails recovered from seized electronics. Robert Lewis Taylor is facing one count ...
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 ...
Sat, 27 Jun 2015 14:22:30 -0700

Jackson is out of prison now and has been able to fully forgive the man who falsely accused him and whose recantation recently set him free. How do you get to the point that you can forgive something so wrong? “Start small,” Fred Luskin, Ph.D., told PBS.
Wed, 01 Jul 2015 09:41:15 -0700

Fortunately, the Court of Appeals denied in 2013 the bid of Barrameda's ex-husband to be cleared of the parricide charge, saying that “a recantation does not necessarily cancel an earlier declaration,” and that evidence was deemed acceptable based on ...

FrontPage Magazine

FrontPage Magazine
Sun, 28 Jun 2015 21:30:00 -0700

This is how Soviet authorities believed they would get the Soviet dissident to not only stop caring about his wife, but to also make a public recantation about his abnormal anti-Soviet views – a gambit in which they ultimately failed. The Soviet system ...

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.

News & Observer

News & Observer
Thu, 11 Jun 2015 09:05:16 -0700

The next hearing will focus on Amy Moore's recantation of her sketchy and inconsistent testimony at trial. Recent testing has shown that she suffers from “mild mental retardation,” can be easily led to create false statements and has serious ...

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