Battling Demons: Witchcraft, Heresy, and Reform in the Late by Michael D. Bailey

By Michael D. Bailey

I used to be excited upon receiving this booklet as I anticipated an exhilarating evaluation of witchcraft as understood within the Medieval interval, regrettably it was once virtually in simple terms an research of 1 person's unexciting interpretation of the malleus maleficarum. when you are searching for a extra interesting and thorough historical past I hugely suggest Nancy Caciola's Discerning Spirits. This ebook is additionally a little bit incomplete because it is approximately 0.33 of Bailey's dissertation chopped into ebook shape explaining a lot of its overemphasis on a unmarried determine, possibly while he has released the remaining will probably be extra thorough and hence stress-free.

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Qxd 9/3/02 2:44 PM Page 31 W I TC HC R A F T I N T H E W R I T I N G S O F J OH A N N E S N I DE R 31 member of the university-educated, reform-minded clerical elite. As such, he will not reveal much about the origins of the “reality” of witchcraft; that is, the actual practices that underlay the accusations and condemnations taking shape in the courts and the social, cultural, legal, and economic factors that drove the actual trials. 6 Nevertheless, for understanding how learned authorities, both ecclesiastical and secular, constructed a uniWed and coherent concept out of the various elements of the new crime that was emerging in these trials, Nider is a most useful source.

Yet the Malleus itself contained little that was new (nor, it must be said, did it contain every aspect of the full witch stereotype). 5 Of these early tracts and treatises, the writings of Johannes Nider were the most extensive and inXuential. Through Nider we have access to the idea of witchcraft at almost the very moment it Wrst appeared, and his writings provide important insights into the origins of this new phenomenon. qxd 9/3/02 2:44 PM Page 31 W I TC HC R A F T I N T H E W R I T I N G S O F J OH A N N E S N I DE R 31 member of the university-educated, reform-minded clerical elite.

On November 10, 1422, “a certain brother of the Order of Preachers” asked to be admitted to the University of Vienna. The brother was Johannes Nider, and he was duly accepted for study in the winter semester, as the matriculation records of the university conWrm. His admission was not without problems, however. ” While awaiting his public examination, Nider was to write to the master general of his order and receive from him the necessary license to study at the university. He had brought with him only the license of the Dominican provincial of Teutonia.

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