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Initial post: 10 Apr 2011, 19:37:38 BST
Banditqueen says:
The hunting and torture of witches was nothing to do with Christians forcing anyone to join the Christian faith. It was about hysteria; and nothing more than hysteria. Hysteria by so called educated communities after the time of the so called Renaissance and Reformation, when events appeared to go wrong. Many were caused by gossip, jealous neigbbours and land take overs. They became more intense sometimes when natural disaster or disease struck, and yet few happened during the black death or the plague of 1665. No most came about merely by gossip, and then the local 'witchfinder' was brought in or when the so called inquisition came to town. Things that normally were explained away became explained by accusations of witchcraft. The people on the edges of society were often the early targets, followed by people in the heart of the community. It was not about converting people to Christianity. The Compendium and the Malleus are not histories of witchcraft and Kramner did not have Papal authority to write or to hunt witches. Examination of the Hammer of the Witches as it translates shows that the official papal letter was forged and the writings were based on his own beliefs and deranged mind. He was trying to justify his own belief system as he had been thrown out of a town by the church and the courts for false accusations against some of the female citizens. He had a vivid imagination and although through some fluck the Hammer did become a major text on how to catch and try witches; it was not the only text used and was reformed on three occassions. In Salem and in Germany and in Essex those tried were actually pillars of the community, local church members and did not need to be converted thank you.

The majority of witch trials actually did not result in all of the accused being burnt or hung; and I would suggest that you broaden your reading on the subject with several of the more modern studies that discredit many of the myths that surround the Malleus and the other early documents to do with the witch trials and the reasons behind them.

Happy Reading.

If you want any assistance I can make some suggestions: I have 30 more scholarly books, all of which are easy to read and good histories and studies that I can suggest to you.
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Initial post:  10 Apr 2011
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Compendium Maleficarum: The Montague Summers Edition (Dover Occult)
Compendium Maleficarum: The Montague Summers Edition (Dover Occult) by Francesco Maria Guazzo (Paperback - 28 Mar. 2003)
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