Follow @PoliticsIE
 
 
 
Page 1 of 21 1234511 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 203

Thread: The Witches Hammer

  1. #1
    Politics.ie Member drummed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Belgrade Serbia
    Posts
    37,373
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default The Witches Hammer

    Malleus Maleficarum - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The above book written around 1486 by a German priest went on to play a large role in inspiring the witch hunting craze which spread around Europe for the following 300 years. During this time it is estimated anything between 35,000 and 70,000 people were executed for practising witchcraft throughout Europe. Other factors in this unfortuanate story of intolerance and persecution were tensions caused by Luthers reformation movement, the thirty years war and the basic superstition and ignorance which were common at the time to followers of all religions.

    Whatever the underlying motives or explanations it was not christianities finest hour by any means.
    This week one German court will attempt to redress the situation in its own way by re-opening one 400 year old case and attempting to re-evaluate the evidence.

    Cologne witchcraft trial reopens after 400 years - The Local

    If one long dead and unjustly executed witch (woman? witch?) can be retried can all the victims be given the same right? Should we do so before we can morally point fingers at other faiths we deem to be unjust or cruel in modern times? The last European woman (85% of victims were women) to be executed for witchcraft was commonly believed to have been in Glarus in Switzerland in 1782 however a woman was also executed in Prussia in 1811 in unclear circumstances. This may all seem a long time ago but the concept of the evil female survived a lot longer in popular memory and folklore and there are reports of such accusations being made in Spain during the civil war in the 1930's.

    The defining characteristic of all the various persecutions and purges (also illustrated by Salem in 1692) is religious zealots who are convinced they are doing god's work and that the god they serve has given them the right, the duty even to persecute harmless women (unless you believe there are witches) in his name for the greater good.

    This story might lead some to imagine that the treatment of women as second class citizens in society for so long and the still common disregard for their rights is largely a hangover produced by and inspired by religion. Not Islam, Judaism or Christianity specificlly, though all have their share of blame to carry, but religion as a concept as its very nature requires an evil force to counter. For too long all the worlds major religions have cast women in this role.

    Many of the persecutions did occur without official church sanction and there are cases where the clergy tried to stamp out the practice. Some of the victims were chosen for motives which had nothing to do with religion. Nonetheless, the overall inspiration was religious in nature.

    Should christians formally apologise and admit the error before feeling the moral superiority required to criticise others?
    Should the very nature of religious beleif which at all times in all places seeks an enemy to persecute be questioned?
    Or should we just carry on as we usually do, forget the whole sorry episode and pretend we're really different to any other religion which seeks to control and demonise its followers?
    Last edited by drummed; 17th March 2013 at 03:25 AM.
    Сохранить Украины

  2. #2
    Politics.ie Member dresden8's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    14,674
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default

    Religion is not the cause of wars but religious people really are idiots.

  3. #3
    Politics.ie Member drummed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Belgrade Serbia
    Posts
    37,373
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dresden8 View Post
    Religion is not the cause of wars but religious people really are idiots.
    I'm not proposing it as the cause of war (this time, note of idea made), rather as the underlying cause for the persecution of women worldwide and that no religion has clean hands in this regard. The witch craze from 1450-1750 is merely a good and relatively recent example.
    Сохранить Украины

  4. #4
    Politics.ie Member Mitsui2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Between Time and Timbuktu
    Posts
    33,231
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default

    To put this in context, I first read the Malleus in a paperback edition in something like 1978 - not sure if it was a banned book, but I got it in that place at the Stephens Green entrance of the Dandelion Market that kept its thought-provoking (so usually banned) books in a curtained niche. That was a great little outlet at a time when the major Dublin bookshops hesitated to stock even no-longer-officially-banned books lest Holy Ireland might notice.

    I've had the book in some form or fashion ever since, which was no mean achievement in Dublin in pre-internet days - there was an (I think) Arrow paperback that turned up occasionally in Banba bookshops (god bless their memory) back in the day, and I had two or three of those. It was a book that people borrowed and didn't give back, because they put it on their bookshelves as a claim to some obscure kind of cool (god help us!).

    My current copy is an inherited, well-thumbed 1960s Folio Society edition that was formerly the property of a rather snooty would-be Satanist of the sort that wasn't entirely uncommon among the decayed "gintry" in the latter half of the 20th century - an acquaintance I valued highly for her wonderful wit and hilarious gossip about the great and good (with whom she was well connected, the connection being due more to their peasant regard for her bloodline rather than any fondness she may have had for the sort of folk she insisted on regarding - and who am I to say she was wrong? - as counterjumping gombeens). Her daughter gave it to me after her ma died.

    It's a gas book, which speaks with the eternally certain voice of the RCC: the one it still uses about some stuff, but will (on the historical evidence) frantically explain away once it's changed its mind on yet more eternal verities - "the Church has never really been against women priests - of course not!" &c.

    The book's purpose was to prove beyond doubt that those who doubted the reality of witchcraft were damnably wrong, and to this end its authors, Kramer and Sprenger, collected a body of "evidence" that ranged from the silly to what was hopefully even at the time identifiable as barking mad - though the story about witches buiding giant nests in trees in which they gathered the stolen cocks of men is possibly still secretly believed by TA and some of the other more extreme RC types one sees hereabouts (I kid you not, drummed - see Journal of Folklore Research: The flying phallus and the laughing inquisitor: penis theft in the Malleus Maleficarum http://http://www.accessmylibrary.co...-laughing.html.

    The reputation of the Malleus as some kind of sinister book on a par with Lovecraft's imaginary Necronomicon is due to its use in horror stories/movies. Its use by inquisitors to question suspects under torture about witchcraft is far more sinister than any of the mad sh1te in the book itself. It pululates with the innate RC hatred of women and sexuality, but if you enjoy horsesh1t it's actually a highly entertaining read.
    Last edited by Mitsui2; 17th March 2013 at 04:37 AM.

  5. #5
    Politics.ie Member Dame_Enda's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Southfork
    Posts
    49,594
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)

    Default

    The Catholic Church should apologise for its role in the witch-trials via the Inquisition.
    Save the 27th

  6. #6
    Politics.ie Member drummed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Belgrade Serbia
    Posts
    37,373
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dame_Enda View Post
    The Catholic Church should apologise for its role in the witch-trials via the Inquisition.
    The Spanish inquisition cautioned against using The Hammer as a source of information regarding witchcraft. The Protestant churches were not exactly slow in lighting up the odd fire themselves so its not a catholic issue alone. Its an issue that organised religion has to find a source of scapegoats in order to justify its existence and purpose. For centuries women were the victims, in more recent times attention has turned to other religions as persecuting women and setting them on fire went out of fashion.

    Religion by its very nature is the primary source of the centuries old and ongoing maltreatment of women.
    Сохранить Украины

  7. #7
    Politics.ie Member Mitsui2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Between Time and Timbuktu
    Posts
    33,231
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dame_Enda View Post
    The Catholic Church should apologise for its role in the witch-trials via the Inquisition.
    But Keith, it was what society wanted (ho ho ho).

  8. #8
    Politics.ie Member Dame_Enda's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Southfork
    Posts
    49,594
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)

    Default

    The Spanish inquisition cautioned against using The Hammer as a source of information regarding witchcraft
    Not until 1538 and even then it wasn't exactly a denunciation of everything in the book:
    Quote Originally Posted by wikipedia
    In 1538 the Spanish Inquisition cautioned its members not to believe everything the Malleus said, even when it presented apparently firm evidence.[41]
    Save the 27th

  9. #9
    Politics.ie Member drummed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Belgrade Serbia
    Posts
    37,373
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default

    Well ok, some of what's in it is fairly remarkable i guess (as has been outlined by Mitsui) so even the zealots were having doubts by 1538. Kramer appears to have been a deranged crank and even the clergy of the day could see that.

    He'd make a first rate poster on here if he was still around.
    Сохранить Украины

  10. #10
    Politics.ie Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Toomebridge
    Posts
    1,364
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default

    The title of this thread misled me into thinking Margaret Thatcher was bringing out an instructional DIY video.
    Last edited by Narcissist; 17th March 2013 at 04:59 AM.

Page 1 of 21 1234511 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •