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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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856 videos foundNext > 

Luther (2003) - His answer about the recantation.


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856 videos foundNext > 

1882 news items

Beaumont Enterprise
Fri, 14 Aug 2015 13:13:05 -0700

Based on that recantation, Marble filed for post-conviction relief and a new trial. District Judge Douglas Harkin called the accuser to the stand, who reneged on his recantation, saying he was pressured into making it and he believed the Innocence ...
Thu, 06 Aug 2015 10:37:30 -0700

Sandy Ruffin said the fear of retaliation drove him to crawfish on his assertion seven years ago, when he told a detective he saw Joseph Morgan shoot and kill 16-year-old Gervais "Gee" Nicholas outside a Tulane Avenue dance club. A bouncer at the Chat ...

New York Times

New York Times
Mon, 31 Aug 2015 18:10:17 -0700

Prosecutors maintained there was no material-witness order for Mr. Salcedo, and wrote in a filing that that “calls into question the truthfulness of his entire recantation.” The court denied Mr. Quezada's motion. However, on Friday, Mr. Thompson's ...
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 ...


Mon, 24 Aug 2015 22:03:45 -0700

Prior to the trial, the family member withdrew her accusation against Booker saying she lied to remove Booker from her home because she hated him. Stanfield said he based Booker's defense mainly on jurors believing the family member's recantation.

The Exponent Telegram (press release) (registration)

The Exponent Telegram (press release) (registration)
Thu, 27 Aug 2015 13:51:54 -0700

Hughes then left to meet privately with Isner, “and after returning, maintained the recantation of his statement upon which” Hawkins had relied upon to obtain the July 2014 murder indictments against the other two, Pickens said. For a second time ...
Fri, 21 Aug 2015 21:02:53 -0700

He argued Larson likely will call Valliere “to specifically introduce CSAAS evidence on the issue of recantation by the alleged victims.” In response, Larson in court documents said Valliere will not testify regarding any syndromes, including CSAAS.
Washington Times
Sun, 24 May 2015 10:37:30 -0700

The man later reneged on that recantation, saying officials with the Montana Innocence Project who were helping Marble had badgered him into it. He shot and killed himself during a police standoff last year in Havre. A district judge rejected Marble's ...

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