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HIST 1010 Nov 10 2011 Lecture Note (F11)

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HIST 1010
Peter Goddard

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1 HIST 1010 Thursday, November 10, 2011 Witches, Diabolical Witchcraft, and the Destruction of Traditional Society Clicker Q Are witches real? a) Yes. There are individuals who have access to supernatural powers. Rational level: th Modern people do not believe in supernatural power; 6 sense/intuition: form of natural thinking b) Yes. Witchcraft is the remnant of the pre-Christian religion of pagan Europe. M. Murray – wrote book “Witch Cults of Pagan Europe” c) No, but the fear of witches is real. People were afraid of witches; feared that someone was casting spells on them, killing their animals, family members, etc.; fear = emotion; historians increasingly interested in history of emotion; weapon of weak and vulnerable; resort to this apparatus – when losing place because own world is being obliterated d) No. The witch is a fictional phenomenon. There is no variability in nature; cannot have phenomenon; Newton = modern scientific view “The Burning Times” – Video (1990) o Advances theme presented in Clicker Q, answer b) o Movie sets out idea that millions of people were killed as witches – function of church to chase witches o URL in Courselink I. Most “traditional” i.e. “pre-modern” societies have "witches” Subject came to light through anthropology A. Provide supernatural remedies (“white magic”) Providers of medicine; magic that is good/positive B. Use curses (“black magic”) to ensure good behavior Punish people who were not playing by rules; almost like police force – ensures good behavior II. In late middle ages, monks and judges invented the idea of diabolical conspiracy. Theory of clergy – witches aren’t just part of the community, it is where we see evidence of the devil; theory = when someone exercises magic, they are doing the devil’s work; devil = figure of imagination o Sprenger and Institorius, MalleusMaleficarum (Hammer of the Witches), 1480s: The Devil’s religion is opposite of X; "witches' sabbath”; women vulnerable to Devil. Participants in demonic cult; Devil’s religion; baptizes in blood, witches gather to bless by Devil; emphasizes gender of witch cult – women more vulnerable/susceptible o The idea of a “diabolical compact” had become as familia
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