Imagining the Witch: A Comparison between Fifteenth-Century Witches within Medieval Christian Thought and the Persecution of Jews and Heretics in the Middle Ages

Lily Climenhaga

Abstract


This paper will examine how the prominent image of the witch in Christian thought during the early modern period emerged from earlier images of the non-Christian Other, Jews and heretics for example. To do so the beliefs surrounding the ―rituals‖ and ―practices‖ of witches seen during the witch-craze of the fifteenth century are compared and contrasted with the images of Others within medieval Christian society. To do so a variety of both primary and secondary scholarship on the persecution of witches, heretics, and Jews during the Middle Ages and the early modern period.


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