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Lecture 5

Lecture 5 Sept. 28.docx

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Jane Abray

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HIS389- LECTURE 5 September 28, 2010  Albi  Albigensian Intellectual and clerical had to decide witchcraft was a heresy a sorcery, if not it would have continued into Early Middle Ages- people would accuse each other of magical crimes, secular might take notice, Church might take notice - Key is theologians growing conviction that witchcraft is a heresy, maleficium and necromancy are both signs of collusion with the devil, this notion that people are colluding with the devil makes it necessary in the eyes of the demonologists to mobilize all resources of western Christendom to fight witches - The idea of witchcraft as heresy brings inquisition into the picture, old method of dealing with deviant ideas able to be applied to accusation of witchcraft - The idea of heresy- the means of fighting heresy – and the nature of witchcraft as a heresy… Background to understand material in Chapter 2 of Levack - High and Late Middle Ages - Some other things going on in Europe (around 1300-1500) unsettling things for elite - Ex: The Babylonian Captivity of the church- Popes living in Avignon (south of France) and under thumb of various kings of France 1305-1377 – follows from the Boniface and Phillip the fourth of France (from last week) - Phillip gained control over catholic church- from time of clement V onto Pope Gregory the eleventh the papacy is out of Rome and Avignon, Gregory moves it back in 1377 to Rome --- significant because it is highly unsettling for a lot of people that the pope is under the control of a secular prince, it is unsettling to have the head office of the western Christian church out of room, makes people think that something is very wrong in the organization of the world. - Horrible epidemic disease- Black Death 1348, firsts appeared in port towns in Italy and slowly makes way westward and northward so that it peters out in Scandinavian around 1352. The Plague comes in different forms, there is a bubonic form often referred to as Bubonic plague (nasty swelling in lymphatic system). It has a pneumonic form where the virus ends up in lungs and coughs self to death. And a septic form where it gets into blood stream (most rapid killer) – Kills about a third of the population of Western Europe (THE PLAGUE) – in any given locality the first attacks of the plague would probably take several weeks to several months to get through - Whole experience is very traumatic and a big economic problem. It changes from many generations the balance of economic power between landlords and tenants – it creates a labour shortage so people have to pay more to get work done. Out of this comes opportunities for poorest to improve positions further, it will not last as the population rebuilds. The plague also makes a rapid move of population from town to city to city to town, people first flee cities, and people realize crowded cities means plague spreads faster. Then you have massively unpopulated cities where country people move into city – rapid churning of communication between town and city. – more contact between city people and country people - There is no good explanation for the plague. The opportunity to think it is supernatural is pretty strong. It comes back every decade, every 10 years there will be another attack , the later attacks are not as bad as the first. – constant return of the plague, each time kicking off another round of “Why God? What is going on? Is this Devil’s work?” - Babylonian Captivity- after Gregory the eleventh dies, the cardinals split you have pope urban the sixth Italian, and clement the seventh is a French man – TWO POPES!- people will worry, eventually the will be 3 claiming to be popes, each with cardinals - Council of Constance- puts end to western schism and tackles big movement of 14 thand 15 centuries- the husuks – wonderful clearing house for demonological ideas, share stories of what is going on, allows stories of witchcraft to become widely known! - Captivity, Plague, Schism, + great waves of heresy! 2 predate the captivity and schism (the Cathars and Waldensians) - 2 later: Lollards (English, follower of theologian Wilcliffe, disagrees with teaching of Eucharist, disagrees with ideas about how humans can obtain salvation, and that the lay governments do have a right to tax clergy) – his ideas are repressed with vigour by English Church and Crown. They go underground- not much to do with witchcraft but add to the sense that Christianity is falling apart- SPREAD ideas to central Europe (Czech province of Bohemia – King of England has a bohemian wife, the wife goes back and talks about ideas in Bohemia) The Council of Constance calls for use of armed force to wipe of Bohemian heresy, Church launches a series of attacks resulting in Husseit wars, Czechs fight well, papal forces cannot defeat, stalemate- recognition of right to exist- - How badly heretics frightening orthodox clergy and secular authorities- sense of political instability- everything coming unglued. - Great waves of peasant revolts going on- go back to 13 century, older than plague, persist until 16 century- form a bunch of revolts take place from Britain to Hungary, deep into Spain, Caledonia, some cases involve towns people, poor people revolting against local authorities - Litany of miseries coincides with the emergence of heresy of witches is The Hundred Years War (until 1453) takes place in France, quarrel over which family gets Crown (French –Valois or English-Plantagenet?) - Lots of things going on to make people feel uncomfortable, unsettled = ugly toad of HERESY – DEFINITIONS ARE KEY- Oxford English Dictionary  Heresy: content changes depending on who gets to say what is a heretic- basic idea is constant: 1225 comes into English, late edition because mostly in Latin, “a theological or religious opinion or doctrine maintained in opposition, or held to the contrary, to the “catholic” or orthodox doctrine of the Christian Church– any belief that contradicts church teaching- struggle to teach  Apostasy- formal abandonment of Christian faith - renounce baptism  Blasphemy- absence of church reverence for church holy things  MUST BE CHRISTIAN 1 to commit these crimes  Heresy has a long history- controversy over the nature of the trinity, how does the word become flesh?  Losers are heretics! o Heresy- the good ones keep coming back o High middle ages sees a return of dualist heresies that drove Augustine nuts (the Manicheans drove him nuts) o Dualism: two – God and the Devil – a dualist heresy is one that plays up the power of the devil to a point where the orthodox says you are making the devil into a figure equal to God o This is the charge brought against the Cathars – they believe that there is no possible overlap between the spiritual and material- belief they are entirely different realms, they believe the material world is the creation of the Devil, they believe humans are trapped in the flesh and will continue to be reborn until overcome imperfections, they see the temporal world as the devils playground, they magnify the devils power, they are strong in the South of France around the town of Albi – alternate name is Albigensian- they are emerging in the 10 century and last until the 13 thcentury. Their beliefs spread all over France. A crusade is launched by Avignon Papacy because Cathars are seen as rivals by Crown of France. Cathar aristocrats are menaces. o Medieval inquisition- Cathars labelled devil worshippers even though they are not, they are not accused of magical crimes but they do contribute to worries about devils strength. The machinery to deal with them is the same used to deal with heresy of witchcraft o Second stream of high medieval heresy is the Waldensians – take name from rich man Waldo or Valdo of Lyons? He comes to the belief that money is the root of evil and the path to salvation is to emanate poverty of apostles, give away all possessions and focus on teaching of Christ, his followers are called the “poor of Lyons”, they seek approval from Church, excommunicated, 1184 condemned as heretics, Conrad of Marburg says they are followers of devil, incestuous, Gregory IX, John XXII, Super illius specula o Vauderie d’Arras 1459-61 – takes name from Waldensians Great Waves of Heresies associated with devil worship, anti-social practices Norman Cohn, Europe’s Inner Demons (Pimlico, 1975) - 35 years ago came up with explanation quickly accepted for reason - He says that these package of accusations (devil worships, secret associations, eating of babies) is a literary package of things heretics do that has its roots back into the time of the roman empire and if you go back and read non-Christian roman descriptions of early Christians you would find them accused of cannibalism, eating babies- it becomes a literary trope! th - Medieval writers add “devil worship” add that in the mix from the 12 century onwards - They also draw in ideas from popular culture, the idea of “flight”, shape-shifting, werewolf ideas out of day to day village talk, + old problems of supernatural crimes: maleficium, signs of heresy - Building up of ideas – seen in 12 century already in the Chronicles of following man: o Ralph of Coggeshall, Rheims Publicans – writes in 1170s, in stories he tells an odd thing that involves a young monk who sees a young woman who he tries to put the moves on… she says if she loses her virginity she will go to hell, any kind of sexual relations are damndable, who thinks that? The Cathars! The monk gets her arrested, the young woman blames getting ideas from marvellous old woman who is eventually condemned as dualist heretic, as Cathar, will be burned and put in tower to await execution, she laughs, she reaches in to the top of her dress and pulls out a ball of thread, and throws out yarn and screams Catch, she is pulled out window and is never seen again. – Regular old Cathar story turned into witch story! - Result: idea of witchcraft both in learned forms and village forms that these things are connected with heresy – witches worship Satan= heresy and apostasy, they resign baptism, redraw from church, endless acts of blasphemy as they carry out many crimes! FIGHTING HERESY - Different needs for coping with heresy vary- Early church punished with spiritual penalties, it believes in its early centuries that the thing to do is to try and talk people out of error, try and make them understand what the truth is – someone who got it wrong would need instruction. If you do not have right, if you do not believe, you will go to hell – disciplinary
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