Fortigurn wrote:Yes my source (for one particular part of my argument, not everything I wrote), is Richard Olson. I cited him directly each of the three times I quoted him, so please don't imply that you cunningly discovered a source I had sought to conceal (Fundamentalism 101). Unlike you I actually have the article, so I was able to reference it in full, complete with page numbers. You have ironically accused me of cherry picking (as well as attacking a number of straw men), whilst quoting everything except Olson's conclusion (which I quoted but which you carefully avoided). Here it is:In any event, for at least a couple of decades after the Restoration, the belief in ghosts and witches--which had begun to decline in the late 16th and early 17th century --returned as a serious and popular topic for polemical discussions; and those who argued in favor of beliefs in spirit phenomena simultaneously drew arguments from and promoted experimental science (Jobe, 1981, pp. 343-356).
You also avoided reference to his statement 'So at least for a time it may be true to say that men actually came to believe in witches as a result of the development of scientific attitudes'. How surprising that you would fail to quote the statements which are contrary to your argument. Since you claim 'You have misread him badly, by cherry picking quotes from religious websites', please provide a list of quotations 'from religious websites' which I supposedly cherry picked, and links to the sites themselves. You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. I do know what I'm talking about, which is why I'm writing this article and not you.
This was a particularly stupid comment:Even according to Olson, these scientists were interested in the question of the supernatural for philosophical and empirical purposes only. They did not perpetuate witchcraft persecutions, which had complex social and religious causes. That was the domain of the competing marketers of Jesus.
You are thinking and talking like a Fundamentalist. Regardless of why they were interested (and Olson's quotations alone demonstrate that this wasn't some abstract philosophical discussion, it was borne of a determination to maintain people's belief in supernatural evil), you're still trying to avoid the fact that they were actively promoting belief in witchcraft among the educated classes ('experimental philosophers, as a group, probably had a more profound impact in legitimizing Glanvill's views among intellectuals', Olson), which made and enforced the anti-witchcraft laws. The early modern witch hunt as a whole had complex social and religious causes, but individual witch hunts did not; the various triggers of individual cases have been fully documented in witch hunt taxonomy.
To say that witchcraft persecution 'was the domain of the competing marketers of Jesus' is worse than ignorant. Witchcraft persecutions could not operate without the full compliance and assistance (typically encouragement), of the secular state. Witches were charged on account of their breach of secular laws, and it was secular law which condemned them to death, secular laws which in some countries were not removed until well into the 18th century. In the case of the Spanish Inquisition, it actually ended up fighting against the secular courts, which were gleefully hunting and executing witches as fast as they could accuse them, while the Inquisition repeatedly identified secular legal abuses, cited secular judges and jurists for improper conduct, actively sought to suppress the witch hunts, insisted on caution and skepticism, and preferred to 'punish' even those found 'guilty' with confession and penance, instead of with death (as the secular law required).
A couple of the Inquisitors in particular (Alciatus and Salzar de Frias), demonstrated a brilliant understanding of the mass psychology of the witch hunts, and successfully defused or prevented mass hunts in a number of cases through the 'Edict of Silence', which prohibited discussion of witchcraft; sure enough, when discussion of witches was suppressed, suddenly witch hunts and accusations of maleficium vanished. See in particular Henningsen, 'The Witches' Advocate: Basque Witchcraft and the Spanish Inquisition (1609-1614)' (1980), Tedeschi, ''Inquisitorial law and the witch", in Ankarloo and Henningsen, 'Early Modern European Witchcraft' (1990), and Levack, The Witch-Hunt In Early Modern Europe' (2nd ed. 1995).Levack, 'The Witch-Hunt In Early Modern Europe', p. 226 (2nd ed. 1995) wrote:'By the time the European witch-hunt began, however, inquisitors had produced a large body of cautionary literature, and the two early modern institutions that succeeded the medieval inquisition - the Spanish and the Roman Inquisitions - demonstrated exceptional concern for procedural propriety. Indeed, the Roman Holy Office has been referred to as 'a pioneer in judicial reform'. Unlike many secular courts, it made provision for legal counsel; it furnished the defendant with a copy of the charges and evidence against him; and it assigned very little weight to the testimony of a suspected witch against her alleged confederates.'
Care to revise your post? If you want to pick a fight with me you will need to do your homework and do it properly (I have around 30 scholarly works on the early modern witch hunts standing by), or I will bury you. You can revise your post, or I will shred what's left of it. What's next, quotations from Andrea Dworkin and Margaret Murray?Stephens, 'Demon Lovers: Witchcraft, Sex, and the Crisis of Belief', p. 125 (2003). wrote:'The notion that witchcraft was a real and heinous crime is not a medieval or Dark Age idea. Witchcraft theory and the persecution of witches are Renaissance phenomena, and they lasted into the Age of Reason. Throughout much of the Middle Ages, churchmen condemned the belief in witchcraft as a delusion of the uneducated based on their ignorance of true theology. Clergy were expected to combat belief in witchcraft among the laypeople, teaching that it was incompatible with Christian belief, administering penance to and even excommunicating those who persisted.'Stefoff, 'Witches and Witchcraft', p. 39 (2007). wrote:Historians now know there was nothing "medieval" about the witch hunts. Large-scale witch panics began in the fourteenth century, at the end of the Middle Ages. They reached their height during the Renaissance and continued into the eighteenth century, an era sometimes called the Enlightenment or the Age of Reason.Golden, 'Encyclopedia of witchcraft: the Western tradition', volume 2, p. 472 (2006). wrote:'Thus with regard to sorcery, the central message of the Reformation was that people should not blame misfortune or affliction on witches and sorcerers but accept that even unnatural sickness was due to the direct will of God.'Robbins, 'The encyclopedia of witchcraft and demonology', p. 9 (1997). wrote:'Murner was shocked that some theologians explained disasters by natural causes rather than by witchcraft.'