Charles Darwin

Rene Descartes

Margaret Bald's Banned Books: Literature Suppressed on Religious Grounds (1998) is one of four volumes issued by Facts on File that spotlight more than 400 books "that have been censored for their political, social, religious or erotic content in the United States and around the world, from bibical times to the present."  Ken Wachsberger, the General Editor of the series writes in the introduction as follows: "Fortunately, our country has a strong tradition of fighting censorship... Groups such as the National Coalition of Censorship, The American Library Association's Office for Intellectual Freedom, People for the American Way, the American Civil Liberties Union and the PEN American Center exist to defend the First Amendment, through legal action and raising public awareness. They deserve our moral, political and financial support." A summary of each book is provided along with its censorship history and a bibliography for "Further Reading." In the list below, the original date and place of publication and its literary form is provided after the title.


Martin Luther  Address to the Christian Nobility of the German Nation. 1520, Switzerland, Theological tract. 
Francis Bacon  The Advancement of Learning. 1605, 1623, England, Scientific treatise.
 Thomas Paine  The Age of Reason. 1794-95, France, Philosophical treatise. 
George Berkeley  Alciphron, Or the Minute Philosopher. 1732, Ireland and England; 1803 United States
Confucius  The Analects. 3rd-4th century B.C., China, Religious and philosophical text.
Emanuel Swedenborg  Arcana Coelestia. 1747-58, England, Theological treatise. 
Martin Luther  The Babylonian Captivity of the Church. 1520, Switzerland, Theological tract.
The Bible  Religious text. 
Roger Williams  The Bloudy Tenent of Persecution. 1644, England, Religious text. 
Thomas Cranmer, et al  The Book of Common Prayer. 1549, England, Religious text. 
Naguib Mahfouz  Children of the Alley. 1959, Egypt; 1988, United States, Novel. 
John Eliot  The Christian Commonwealth. 1659, England, Religious text. 
John Toland  Christianity Not Mysterious. 1696, England, Religious treatise. 
Michael Servetus  Christianity Restored. 1552, France, Theological treatise. 
Leonardo Boff  Church: Charism and Power: Liberation Theology and the Institutional Church. 1981, Brazil: United States, Theological essays.
Desiderius Erasmus  Colloquies. 1518-33, Switzerland, Essays. 
Averroes  Commentaries. 1168-90, Spain and Morocco, Philosophical Commentaries. 
Girolamo Savonarola  Compendium Revelationum. 1495, Italy, Religious treatise. 
Sebastian Castellio  Concerning Heretics. 1554, Germany, Theological treatise. 
Augute Comte  The Course of Positive Philosophy. 1830-42, France; 1855, United States
Henri Bergson  Creative Evolution. 1907, France, Philosophical treatise. 
Immanuel Kant  The Critique of Pure Reason. 1781, Prussia, Philosophical treatise
John Hus  De Ecclesia. 1413, Bohemia, Theological treatise. 
Polydore Vergil  De Inventoribus Rerum. 1499, Italy, Reference book. 
Claude Adrien Helvetius  De L'Esprit. 1758, France, Philosophical treatise. 
Galileo Galilei  Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems. 1632, Italy, Scientific monograph.
David Hume  Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion. 1779, England, Philosophical treatise.
Rene Descartes  Discourse on Methods. 1637, Holland, Philosophical text. 
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra  Don Quixote. 1605, 1615, Spain, Novel. 
Laurence Yep  Dragonwings. 1975, United States, Novel. 
Jean-Jacques Rousseau  Emile. 1762, France, Novel. 
Denis Diderot, Jean le Rond d'Alembert  Encyclopedie. 1751-72, France, Encyclopedia. 
John Locke  An Essay Concerning Human Understanding. 1690, England, Philosophical treatise.
Michel de Montaigne  Essays. 1580, France, Essays. 
Baruch Spinoza  Ethics. 1677, Holland, Philosophical treatise. 
Bernard Mandeville  The Fable of the Bees. 1714, 1723, 1728; England, Satirical essays.
Moses Maimonides  The Guide of the Perplexed. 1197, Egypt, Philosophical text. 
Nawal El Saadawi  The Hidden Face of Eve: Women in the Arab World. 1977, Lebanon; 1980, United States, Sociological text.
Pierre Bayle  Historical and Critical Dictionary. 1697, Holland, Dictionary. 
John William Draper  History of the Conflict Between Reliogion and Science. 1874, United States, Historical and philosophical text.
Edward Gibbon  The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. 1776-88, England, History.
Hans Kung  Infallible? An Inquiry. 1970, Germany; 1971, United States, Theological analysis.
David Hume  An Inquiry Concerning Human Understanding. 1748, England, Philosophical treatise.
John Calvin  Institutes of the Christian Religion. 1536-59, Switzerland, 
Peter Abelard  Introduction to Theology. 1120, France, Theological treatise. 
Jeremy Bentham  An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation. 1789, England, Philosophical treatise.
Sigmund Freud  Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis. 1933, Germany; 1935, United States, Psychological text.
The Koran  Seventh century A.D., Arabia, Religious text. 
Taslima Nasrin  Lajja (Shame). 1993, Bangladesh; 1994, India, Novel 
Nikos Kazantzakis  The Last Temptation of Christ. 1953, Greece; 1960, United States, Novel
Denis Diderot  Letter on the Blind. 1749, France, Philosophical essay. 
Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet)  Letters Concerning the English Nation. 1733, London, Essays. 
Thomas Hobbes  Leviathan. 1651, England, Political philosophy. 
Ernest Renan  The Life of Jesus. 1863, France, History. 
Rene Descartes  Meditations on First Philosophy. 1641, France, Philosophical essays.
William Pynchon  The Meritorious Price of Our Redemption. 1650, England, Religious Text
Aristotle  The Metaphysics. Fourth century B.C., Philosophical treatise. 
Johannes Kepler  The New Astronomy. 1609, Germany, Scientific treatise. 
William Tindale, trans.  The New Testament. 1526, Germany, Religious text. 
Martin Luther  Ninety-Five Theses. 11517, Switzerland, Theological tract. 
Henricus Cornelius Agrippa  Of  The Vanitie and Uncertaintie of Artes and Sciences. 1530, Belgium, Theological treatise.
Charles Dickens  Oliver Twist. 1838, England, Novel 
John Wycliff  On Civil Lordship. 1376, England, Theological treatise. 
Pierre-Joseph Proudhon  On Justice in the Revolution and in the Church. 1858, France, Political theory.
Dante Alighieri  On Monarchy. 1310-13, Italy, Political treatise. 
Giordano Bruno On the Infinite Universe and Worlds. 1584, France, Philosophical treatise.
Hugo Grotius  On the Law of War and Peace. 1625, France, Legal treatise. 
Charles Darwin  On the Origin of Species. 1859, England, Scientific text. 
Nicholas Copernicus  On the Revolution of Heavenly Spheres. 1543, Germay, Scientific treatise.
Roger Bacon  Opus Maius. 1268, England, Philosophical treatise. 
Anatole France (Jacques Anatole Thibault)  Penguin Island. 1908, France; 1909, United States; Novel 
Montesquieu  The Persian Letters. 1721, Holland, Novel 
Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet)  Philosophical Dictionary. 1764, France, Essays. 
Daniel Defoe  The Political History of the Devil. 1726, England, Religious history.
Popol Vuh  ca. 1000-1550, Guatemala, Religious text. 
Graham Greene  The Power and the Glory. 1940, England, United States, Novel 
Desiderius Erasmus  The Praise of Folly. 1511, France, Satirical essay. 
John Stuart Mill  Principles of Political Economy. 1848, England, Economics treatise.
Blaise Pascal  The Provincial Letters. 1656-57, France, Satire. 
Lindsey Collen  The Rape of Sita. 1993, Mautitius; 1995, United States, Novel. 
Stendahl (Marie Henri Beyle)  The Red and the Black. 1831, France, Novel. 
Sir Thomas Browne  Religio Medici. 1643, England, Religious commentary. 
Immanuel Kant  Religion Within the Limits of Reason Alone. 1793, Prussia, Philosophical treatise.
Matthew Tindal  The Rights of the Christian Church Asserted. 1706, England, Religious treatise.
William Penn  The Sandy Foundation Shaken. 1668, England, Religious text. 
Salman Rushdie  The Satanic Verses. 1988, England; 1989, United States, Fiction. 
Thomas Helwys  A Short Declaration of the Mystery of Iniquity. 1612, Holland, Theological treatise.
Daniel Defoe  The Shortest Way with the Dissenters. England, 1702, Parody. 
Jean-Jacques Rousseau  The Social Contract. 1762, Holland, Political-philosophical treatise.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe   The Sorrows of Young Werther. 1774, 1787, Germany, Novel. 
Montesquieu  The Spirit of Laws. 1748, Switzerland, Political treatise. 
Khalil Gibran  Spirits Rebellious. 1908, United States (in Arabic); 1947, United States (in English)
Hanan al-Shaykh  The Story of Zahra. 1980, Lebanon; 1994, United States; Novel. 
Jonathan Swift  A Tale of a Tub. 1704-10, England, Satire. 
The Talmud  ca. 200-500 A.D., Palestine and Mesopotamia, Religious text. 
Baruch Spinoza  Theological-Political Treatise. 1670, Holland, Philosophical treatise.
Meister Eckhart  Three-Part Work. 1311, Germany, Theological treatise. 
Fatima Mernissi  The Veil and the Male Elite: A Feminist Interpretation of Women's Rights in Islam. 1987, France; 1991, United States, Religious history.
Savinien Cyrano de Bergerac  Voyages to the Moon and Sun. 1657, 1662, France, Fiction. 
Erasmus Darwin  Zoonomia. 1794-96, England, Scientific treatise.