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Simha Goldin

the Jerusalem Talmud, stating that a convert is like a Jew in every respect because he is considered a son of the patriarch Abraham.15 This situation needs to be understood against the background of Jewish self-perception during the medieval period. So long as the convert ameliorates his own situation by converting, or there is the possibility that he will derive some sort of benefit from doing so, the Ashkenazic authorities were hesitant to accept him, and the suspicion of him remained. This intuitive suspicion of proselytes is based upon the self-perception which

in Apostasy and Jewish identity in High Middle Ages Northern Europe
Open Access (free)
witchcraft continued
Willem de Blécourt and Owen Davies

geographical, temporal and social boundaries of clusters of basic rules and basic contents, so as to avoid, among other things, the danger of mistaking regional differences for indicators of change. Yet another sign of changes in the witchcraft discourse, if not of its actual decline, is presented when witchcraft accusations become mixed up with other supernatural phenomena. Possession is a borderline case in this respect, as its link

in Witchcraft Continued
Open Access (free)
The gendering of witchcraft
Lara Apps and Andrew Gow

Richard Kieckhefer have both argued that magic was widespread in medieval Europe, despite official prohibitions against it.Of the early medieval period,Flint says that it ‘was remarkably well supplied with influential and respected harioli, auspices, sortilegi, and incantatores’; 29 in the later medieval centuries, Kieckhefer says, ‘we find various types of people involved in diverse magical activities.’ 30 These people and

in Male witches in early modern Europe
Open Access (free)
Hans Peter Broedel

certainly wrong: despite his age, Institoris was not senile. Rather, he was a man capable of inspiring profound animosity in those he met, and his “childishness” seems to have been a permanent feature of his personality, perhaps exacerbated by, but not the result of, his advancing years. The casual insult does, however, make the point that despite a career that left him exceptionally well qualified to tackle his subject, Institoris was not someone who was so well respected by his peers that his views on witchcraft would be TMM2 8/30/03 5:38 PM Page 11 ORIGINS AND

in The <i>Malleus Maleficarum</i> and the construction of witchcraft
Simha Goldin

are considered part of them and are immersed among them; they worship their god and abandon the Torah of Israel completely—such a person is a complete Gentile in every respect, even regarding the matter that one is not required to sustain him in life.’ The legitimation that he gives for his opinion is more indicative than anything else. It states in the Talmud that, if a building collapses on the Sabbath and people were buried beneath it, among them an ‘apostate,’ one is required to desecrate the Sabbath in order to save him, because one assumes that either he or

in Apostasy and Jewish identity in High Middle Ages Northern Europe
Peter Maxwell-Stuart

Perthshire was a well ‘which the ignorant and supersticious people pay a great respect unto and from which they expect cures to be wrought upon themselves and their beasts’.25 The gift of second sight – ‘two sights’ in Gaelic – was universally held to belong to Highlanders and the people of the Western Isles in particular. As MacCulloch remarked, ‘to have navigated the Western Isles without even mentioning the second sight, would be unpardonable’. Martin Martin defined it thus: ‘a singular Faculty of Seeing an otherwise invisible Object, without any previous Means us’d by

in Beyond the witch trials
Marie Lennersand and Linda Oja

anything happened to the real parents, it was the duty of the godparents to make sure that the child received a proper Christian upbringing. Quite naturally, these things were hardly seen as suitable for somebody who had been suspected of being a witch, no matter what the verdict of the court. Consequently none of those tried for witchcraft in Rättvik were chosen to act as godparents for at least several years after the trials. But their bad reputations did not rub off on kin relations in this respect. Their husbands and other household members were asked on several

in Beyond the witch trials
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A male strategy
Soili-Maria Olli

an impressive criminal record. She had lied about her place of birth, used a false passport, had attempted murder and profaned God. She had in many ways been a burden to both the authorities and to the inhabitants in several villages where she had stayed. Because of her supposed possession villagers had provided her with food and a roof over her head. Some of them complained to their local authorities that they had to burn candles for her all night long and that several men had to look after her night and day. In respect of female strategies involving claims of

in Beyond the witch trials
Lara Apps and Andrew Gow

questioned, and an executioner should be found ‘who would know “how to torture these kinds of people”’. Around 27 July, Stoeckhlin was arrested and taken to Fluhenstein Castle, near Sonthofen. His first hearing took place on 29 July, when he was questioned by the district judge, district governor, and county clerk. 36 Why arrest Stoeckhlin, a respectable and respected member of the community, whose powers were for healing, not

in Male witches in early modern Europe
S.J. Barnett

endeavours, which brings us back to the issue of readership. The fears generated by the appearance or reports of atheistic or deistic texts in early modern Europe may well at times have been out of proportion to their number for very good reasons. As we have seen, we may include amongst those reasons the scaremongering tactics of apologists, the enjoyment of scandal and the titillation of the forbidden, but also the undoubted and vexing existence of anticlericalism and religious heterodoxy within oral culture. As Hunter has warned, with respect to late

in The Enlightenment and religion