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Marie Lennersand and Linda Oja

Responses to witchcraft in Sweden 67 community, with the church playing a key role. It was common for offenders to appear in church before his or her parishioners to express regret for having committed an offence, and thereby assure the community that they were reformed characters. That this was done in public was of importance, because it served both as a punishment and as a warning to others.20 With the accused witches of Rättvik the situation was unusual, as most of them were not convicted criminals, but due to the nature of the accusations made against them, it was

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

6 Beyond the witch trials The Devil’s pact The Devil’s pact: a male strategy Soili-Maria Olli By the second half of the seventeenth century, as the witch trials reached their climax in Sweden, belief in the interventionist powers of the Devil had become not only a major preoccupation of the educated classes, but also seems to have considerably exercised the minds of the wider population, illiterate as well as literate. It is apparent, however, that different groups in society held different views as to the nature and consequences of dealing with the Devil

in Beyond the witch trials
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Beyond the witch trials
Owen Davies and Willem de Blécourt

awkward process of divorcing themselves from popular concerns and beliefs regarding witchcraft. This shift led, it would seem, to some considerable consternation amongst the witch-believing public as to what was and was not regarded as criminal. Yet while the criminal basis of witchcraft was increasingly undermined by legal circumspection regarding the nature of evidence, and broader intellectual scepticism concerning the reality of witchcraft, beneficial magic remained a crime even though it was rationalised according to intellectual developments. This is particularly

in Beyond the witch trials
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Simha Goldin

descendant of those who stood at Sinai and received that promise. This approach is closely related to the attitudes examined during the course of this study, according to which the nature of the Jew is not subject to change; hence, even if he converts to Christianity and is now immersed in the impurity of the Christian religion, which is seen as tantamount to idolatry, he still remains a ‘New Christian,’ a Jew in essence. We have seen above how this statement, applied to an apostate, changes due to the influence of historical events. Did the attitude concerning one who

in Apostasy and Jewish identity in High Middle Ages Northern Europe
Simha Goldin

this Yom Tov was harassed by a demon who showed him the form of ‘warp and woof’—i.e., the cross— and tried to persuade him to engage in idolatry. The source adds that Yom Tov’s father, upon hearing of this, did not leave his room, did not interrupt his studies, and did not shed a single tear. The father’s behavior may have been because of the son’s suicide, which is prohibited according to halakhah or, what seems more likely, as an expression of the problematic nature of this son, who was evidently ‘fascinated’ by Christianity and drew close to it, a phenomenon

in Apostasy and Jewish identity in High Middle Ages Northern Europe
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Simha Goldin

halakhic background here is the need to make decisions regarding what to do with such women. As in many other situations, the halakhic authorities attempted a decision on the basis of precedent through use of an earlier, similar discussion in the Talmud. The Mishnah and the Talmud contain discussions clarifying the circumstances under which a woman who has been held captive may return to her husband (after her husband, who is obligated to redeem her from captivity, in fact did so). The discussions there revolve in practice around the question of the nature of the captors

in Apostasy and Jewish identity in High Middle Ages Northern Europe
Feijoo versus the ‘falsely possessed’ in eighteenth-century Spain
María Tausiet

they get disgusting and fetid smoke up their nostrils will be moved, will worry, will struggle and do all they can to move away. Why should it be necessary to resort to the possessive Devil?’ 56 That is the question, which in terms of pure logic, Feijoo himself might ask. But to doubt the real existence of the Devil would mean doubting the basic tenets of a faith, which in the monk’s case, allowed no cracks whatsoever. Feijoo resolved his contradictions by defending a Devil so powerful and so negatively shaped by nature that he has no need even to appear: The Devil

in Beyond the witch trials
Open Access (free)
Simha Goldin

in the weakness of Christian theological arguments. The Jew who converted to Christianity was not convinced spiritually or in terms of faith but rather by the shock that hit him upon seeing a miraculous change in nature.19 Goldin, Apostasy and Jewish identity.indd 6 20/08/2014 12:34:42 Early beginnings 7 Jewish sources from the tenth century until after the First Crusade (i.e., beginning of twelfth century) do not conceal the fact that there were Jews who converted to Christianity—some under coercion but some willingly—who became real Christians. These Jews

in Apostasy and Jewish identity in High Middle Ages Northern Europe
Magic, witchcraft and Church in early eighteenth-century Capua
Augusto Ferraiuolo

, every document is a lie. This is why it is necessary to deconstruct the document as a cultural artefact with the purpose of analysing the nature of its production. Magic, witchcraft and Church in Capua 27 Writing as aporia (expression of doubt) The Inquisitional documents used in the following discussion consist of narratives describing instances of magical practices, and the reasons why people decided to denounce others who were involved in such activities. Before examining their content, it is necessary to consider the conditions of production via which the

in Beyond the witch trials
Simha Goldin

seriousness, and the subject was developed thus until, in the days of R. Meir of Rothenburg (end of thirteenth century), it became an obligation.11 R. Yitzhak emphasizes the theological aspect in his discussion of the question of interest in relation to the convert to Christianity, clearly expressing the change in attitude towards the converted Jew as deriving from the nature of the Christianity that he has taken upon himself. As we have seen, the issue of interest is one that touches upon the very roots of the Jewish self-definition due to the biblical verses connecting

in Apostasy and Jewish identity in High Middle Ages Northern Europe