Unit V Lecture III – March 29, 2012
Andreski—The Syphilitic Shock
What Andreski thinks an account of the witch craze should explain:
1. Its duration.
2. Its geographical extension.
3. Its generality/classlessness.
4. Its bias against women.
5. Its contrariety to the direction of intellectual progress.
6. Its bias against midwives.
7. Its loose association with wars.
8. The prominent role of monks and Puritans.
Criticisms of Other Theories
Bias Against Women
o [Honegger] – Witch trials were motivated by the move to subjugate women.
o Criticism Too many men and boys were killed (10-15% of the victims); women
can be subjugated without killing them).
o [Thomas] – Influence of capitalism on rural life led to a clash between duty to
help unfortunate and the desire to pursue self-interest.
o Criticism If witch-hunts were the byproduct of capitalism, it should have been
most virulent where capitalism started; greatest hunts were in Germany and
France, where villages were hardly influenced by capitalism.
o [Favret] – Witch hunts instigated not by peasants but by judges whose motive
was fear of counter-culture.