witchcraft essay notes.docx

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Laury Silvers

- What is witchcraft/ magic in the historical period? - How early should we start? - Looking at charges connected with witchcraft very useful to see what type of magic was practiced during that period - “The history of magic is above all a cross-point where the exploitation of natural forces and the invocation of demonic powers intersect.” (Kieckhefer, p.16) The change of belief and charges concerning the practice of magic and witchcraft. Magic deemed heretical and witchcraft once became demonic…… see evolution and belief. - - Kieckhefer (Chapter 4) mentions various types of magic that were performed the early and Medieval period. They include healing and divination, medical magic involving herbs and animals, prayers, blessings and adjurations, protective amulets and talismans, trickery and sorcery. - Sorcery is defined as the misuse of magic that causes harm (Kieckhefer, p.81) - For example, in 1300-1330 sorcery most common charge (Chronological survey) Sorcery most common charge defined as misuse of magic. Don’t see evidence of use of magic evolving into diabolical sorcery until the threat of heresy, magic is then deemed herectical because it involves making a pact with the devil! - - Pandemic fear of witchcraft/ witchcraze 1430-1660 (Kors and Peters, p.2) - - 1100 onward uniform theological and juridical dogma, obligation of churchmen and secular courts seek out and persecute witches and their protectors and defenders (Kors and Peters, p.3) - - Before 1100 churchmen had skepticism concerning magical powers of witches but they still condemned practices deviating from mainstream religion (Kors and Peters, p.4) - After 1100 things changed - - Realize victory of Christianity has not occurred and not complete, fear of a rise of a threat to Christendom (Kors and Peters, p.4) - - Thus, from the 12 century onward both civil and canon law became more serve in dealing with the threat of heresy (Russell, p.69) th th - Height of these fears occurred in the 16 and 17 centuries - Protestant Catholic tensions accuse each other of heresy - - Witchcraze took on new strength at the end of the 15 century (Russell, p.79) - Partly in the Malleus, comprehensive legal doctrine concerning the trial and persecution of witchcraft (Russell, p.79) - Before the 14 century there existed no “inquisitors of heretical depravity,” (Kors and Peters, p.6) no people to seek out theological deviance and enforce proper orthodoxy of the Christian tradition - - Context to which witchcraft and heresy originated “define the boundaries of Christianity and achieve the cohesion of the Christian community in the face of a terrifying and powerful army of foes under the generalship of Satan himself,” (Russell, p.109) - - Once the witch and diabolical sorcerer were identified as visible agents of Satan on earth, the social, political, and economic turmoils of the late medieval and early modern European world, the disintegration of Christendom into warring religious camps (Protestant/ Catholic spilt), and social crisis’ such as plague and famine all served to heighten the power of evil and demonic powers which persecutions relied on (Kors and Peters, p.6) - - In the 4 century through Augustine’s dispute with the Manicheans, the “notion of the Devil as the enemy of God and man was firmly enshrined in Christian belief,” (Kors and Peters, p.7) - th - It was the 13 century where the evil nature of the devil become recognized when Thomas Aquinas frequently cited Augustine. Established Satan as the pinnacle of evil spirits (Kors and Peters, p.7) - - Systematization of belthf that Satan “commanded a host or army of subordinate demons” in the 11 century gave the belief of the presence of sub-demons an essential place in witchcraft beliefs. Can see how certain types of people were frequently accused of witchcraft as they are seen as being in ranks with the Devil. - - Literary explosion of the 11 and 12 centuries contribute to forming the attitudes and knowledge that people have about sorcery and witchcraft (Kors and Peters, p.58) - - Before systematization of the role and demons in human affairs, demon beliefs were contributed to simple folklore. In the 12 and 13 century, Thomas Aquinas contributed to enforcing the role of demons in human affairs as an immediate threat to ecclesiastical doctrine - - Satan and his hosts would trick humans into committing the crimes of apostasy and idolatry, could service in present and future service with humans with written contracts, leave distinguishing marks as tokens of service on their human servants, gather their servants into nocturnal assemblies called “sabbats, to pay homage to the devil to plan assaults on the human community, have sexual relations with humans and give humans the power of flight and morphological change (Kors and Peters, p.8) The Following were thought to be signs of humans who were allegiance with the devil. - Once the concept of a witch became understood in this context, the trial and execution of witches became logical and compelling (Kors and Peters, p.8). One way in which the existence of witches and witchcraft became a prevalent threat in and to society - - There could no longer be simple magic or superstition performed by cunning-folk, wizards, wisemen or magicians, even if their magic was used for good to relieve human suffering or anguish, magic was seen as only being connected to the diabolical sorcerer or witch (Kors and Peters. P.9). That is because all magic was connected to the devil - - Fear of the devil and witch and linked by scholastic ontology, and increased threat and importance of this fear was prevalent in the 13 century onward (Kors and Peters, p.9) - - Before 1100, Devil was the greatest source of evil but his power never threatened God in any absolute way (Kors and Peters, p.9). After 1100, new emphasis on suffering and emotionalization of God human relationship came with the increased fear of the Devil and his powers (Kors and Peters, p.9) - - Dramatic reform in the 14-16 centuries weaken devotional by deeming it superstition, as a result greater response to Satan’s threats were considered necessary (Kors and Peters, p.10) - “In the alleged diabolical witchcraft of the Renaissance and Reformation eras in Europe, on the other hand, the alleged witch voluntarily invited the evil spirit through invocation or other means,” (Russell, p.11) - Beliefs that accompanied the witchcraze: right by night, the pact with the Devil, the formal repudiation of Christianity, the secret, nocturnal meetings, the desecration of the eucharist and the crucifix, the orgy, sacrificial infanticide and cannibalism (Russell, p.55) - Fundamental crime of the witch was devil worship by this period (Kors and Peters, p.11) - Diabolical witchcraft and sorcery was defined as the “behavior of someone, man or woman, who has acquired extraordinary powers to harm other through a pact, or agreement with the Devil. (Kors and Peters, p.12) - Would also commit the offences of apostasy and idolatry (Kors and Peters, p.12) - “the inquisition was the most powerful agent in the enforcement of legal sanctions against heretics and witches” (Russell, p.70) - Grow the heresy brought about the offices of papal inquisitions (Russell, p.70) - Gave authority to seize goods, imprison, torture, execution on minimal evidence (Russell, p.70) - “In 1258 Pope Alexander IV issued the first papal letter empowering the inquisitors of heretical depravity to deal with witchcraft, but only when they determined that it “savored of heresy” (Kors and Peters, p.13) - Why? Easier and more arti
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