From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
"The book which most deserved to be banned would be a catalogue of banned books." --Georg Christoph Lichtenberg
Many societies have banned certain books. Grounds for banning are 1) political, 2) religious, 3) sexual and 4) social.
Various religious texts have been banned (and sometimes burned) at several points in history. The Bible, the Qur'an, and other religious scriptures have all been subjected to censorship and have been banned in various cities and countries. In Medieval Europe the Roman Catholic Church created a program that lasted until 1966 to deal with dissenting printed opinion; it was called the Index Librorum Prohibitorum (index of prohibited books). Over the years many books based on the scriptures have also been banned, such as Leo Tolstoy's The Kingdom of God is Within You, which was banned in Russia for being anti-establishment.
Governments have also sought to ban certain books which they perceive to contain material that could threaten, embarrass, or criticize them.
Notably, children's books that deal with death or other teenage angst or various crimes often find themselves banned perhaps because of parental worries about teenage suicide or copycat crimes. Many publications are targeted on the premise that children would be corrupted by reading them. This fear led to the creation of the Comics Code Authority in 1954.
Materials are often suppressed due to the perceived notion of obscenity. This obscenity can apply to materials that are about sexuality, race, drugs, or social standing.
- Cult fiction
- List of banned books
- List of authors banned during the Third Reich
- Banned films
- Book burning
- The Roman Catholic Church's Index Librorum Prohibitorum
- List of controversial books
- Freedom of the press
- The Forbidden Best-Sellers of Pre-Revolutionary France
- Underground literature