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Lecture

October 18.docx

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Department
Religion
Course
RLG303H1
Professor
Sarah Kleeb
Semester
Fall

Description
October 18, 12 - Option1 – write a standard response paper (week 6 heading) – when essay is due - Or don’t. - Tensions – Label of “Evil” - Witchcraft - Prior to the witch crazes, people already believed in witchcraft and magic - Helpful v. Harmful magic (Light v. Dark…) - Exodus 12:18 – “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live” – generally considered to mean that witches couldn’t not be permitted to exist within the Christian community - Repentance was still considered possible - Over time witchcraft came to be more associated with a pact or deal with the devil. - A conspiracy against faith - Women considered particularly prone to becoming witches – less control over urges (Eve) - Women thought to have less control over sexual urges, and were tempted into sexual relations with the devil. – initiation into witchcraft. - The interpretation is that practitioners of witchcraft seek to bring ruin onto the society of believers - A blood oath made wit hthe devil - Sexual rituals and encounters strengthen the bonds - Gain ability to shapeshift and to summon animas animated by demonic spirits. - The “witches marl” is the sign of belonging - Women stripped naked and shaved head to toe, then prodded with pins and hot irons on moles, etc. - If not physical mark could be found she would keep being poked with needles until they found a numb spot - Try to get a confession priests applied hot fat repeatedly to [her] eyes and armpits, etc… sexual violation as well. - All of this was done due to a very real fear that the Christian community was actively under attack - In 1468, witchcraft is declared a crimen exceptum - Were an inquisitor to show leniency, they, too, would likely be accused of witchcraft, or some other part of the demonic conspiracy. - Summis Desiderantes (1484) - Papal document issued to proclaim the virtue of inquisitors acting on behalf of the Catholic Church during the time of the European witch hunts (~1480 – 1750) - Denouncing those who have given themselves over to an “evil power” - “witches” threaten the Christian faith and its adherents with ruin and peril - The “righteous” inquisitors are given full authority in terms of neutralizing these heretics, and are encouraged to engage in their “correction, imprisonment, and punishment” - Bewitching, sacrilege, death, infanticide (midwives particularly suspected): offences against humans, the Church and their G-d. - The pure Self and the impure and scandalous Other: “…all heretical depravity be put far from the territories of the faithful…” - The offenders are “heretical” and the faithful are devoted - But of the most interest here is the phrase “all errors being rooted out by our toil as with the hoe of a wise laborer” - ^Presupposition of purity and divine authority allows this group to claim such a superior position. - Witches are to be “weeded out” of the otherwise blessed garden. - They are seen as a contaminant in the body of the faith. - The stated deeds which have earned the perpetrators such lowly status are of the most diabolical kind: All that is supposed to be fruitful and multiply is being violated by these individuals. - Once insiders themselves, they have denounced their religion and made contact with the devil. - 1517 – Martin Luther’s 95 Thesis - Tension building for years prior to this - Catholic church under increasing pressure - ^Inquisition as purge movement w/in the church - ^Internal – concerned only w/behavior of Catholics. Not explicitly connected to conversion attempts or judgments of other religions. - Retention in times of religious challenges within C
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