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Edward Peters, The Magician, the Witch, and the Law (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1978), 93–8. 13 Since we are here ultimately concerned with the work of fifteenth-century Dominicans, Aquinas is unquestionably the most relevant scholastic theorist. Charles Edward Hopkin argues for the essential conservatism of Thomist demonology in his doctoral dissertation, “The Share of Thomas Aquinas in the Growth of the Witchcraft Delusion” (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1940). See also Jeffrey Burton Russell, Lucifer:The Devil in the Middle

in The Malleus Maleficarum and the construction of witchcraft

confidence are introduced . . . Agriculture, arts, and commerce are advanced’, trumpeted Mr R. Henry in a sermon to the SPCK in 1773.45 But, like those who confidently announced the end of superstition, his claims were premature. In fact from a judicial perspective at least, the state, rather like the Kirk, 94 Beyond the witch trials had been progressively losing interest in witches from the beginning of the century. To be sure, the offence continued to appear in legal textbooks of the period, but that may be ascribed to the innate conservatism of lawyers and their

in Beyond the witch trials