Witchcraft in the Modern World
New Perspectives on Witchcraft, Magic, and Demonology
Witchcraft in the Modern World
New Perspectives on Witchcraft, Magic, and Demonology
Edited ByBrian P. Levack
Edition 1st Edition
First Published 2002
eBook Published 28 October 2013
Pub. location New York
Pages 350 pages
eBook ISBN 9780203055755
Levack, B., Levack, B. (Ed.). (2002). Witchcraft in the Modern World. New York: Routledge, https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203055755
First published in 2002. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
'false religions' among population. Evans explain nature enthusiasm and superstition shewing distinct; other respects bearing family likeness produces means other means presump- tion' According Evans, enthusiasm and superstition produced connection Evans between 'credulity' perceived modern historians, though they expressed themselves quite lachrymose terms.
laity for hold ing beliefs witchcraft, possession petty cases divine retribution, many educated Methodists, those inclined towards Methodism, shared some these popular beliefs sympathetic apparent witchcraft which occurred Bristol bewitchment innkeeper called Richard Through their style preaching Methodist preachers could actually induce startling physical manifesta- tions supernatural assault among their listeners, thereby, perhaps, reinforcing belief reality powers. Welsh observer described whole Country Miles round' crowded
Forest Methodists earned reputation, popular 'Magic Methodists'. Writing latter half century, local Staffordshire historian Henry Wedgwood recalled local inhabitants terrified magical activities innkeeper named Zacchariah Baddeley, records local belief goings-on Delamere Forest imaginative fabrications intended discredit Methodists evident journal Methodist carpenter joined Forest Methodists after being expelled Wesleyan Connexion
around fifty members Portland Methodist Society struck off class register Derry belief witchcraft. Among those struck off prominent local lay preachers, Charles Whittle Robert Hinde. They subsequently set chapel, which years 'Conjurer's Lodge'. Writing events at Portland
wrestling, Methodist teetotal movement certainly received considerable popular support, though Methodist attempts suppress social revels Padstow Hobby-horse significant failures. Furthermore, those areas where social behaviour reformed, activities Anglican churchmen, other Nonconformists magistracy may influential.
Church England. Methodists, Anglican clergymen equally guilty involvement in supernatural activities their flock respected Cornish clergyman, writing 1826, complained rusticated clergy reinforcing superstition pretending power laying ghosts, hinted could clergyman, known familiarly Parson incumbent in north Devon during first nineteenth century, credited power laying thought to possess magical black book. actually a manual astrology which Parson consulted answering horary questions those
Charms'. Lydford, heart lead, every diamond parish church windows midnight, woman afflicted 'breastills' (sore Church- earth thought to possess strong curative powers. young afflicted rheumatism buried naked local churchyard hours uncovered.t?
unprecedented intellectual, economic and social change. Cornish miners responsive Wesley's message because demanded rational world, not.' factory owners, magistrates, clergymen Methodists attempting suppress popular festivals which interrupted work, Methodist revivals, which could continue over
Before I begin uncover roots myth, would recall usually presented. 1484, issued entitled which aimed at removing possible hesitation regard persecution those accused of witchcraft. Shortly thereafter, 1486, famous (also known Zilboorg Henry devoted entire chapters Restless Surrender Demonology' 118-143) Blows Witches' Hammer' 144-174). discussed Weyer's (1653) length in following chapter, First Psychiatric Revolution' authors acknowledge Weyer's statements personally believed
ByDesiderantes maleficarum Medical Psychology,3 praestigiis Daemonum
Weyer seems suspected. 'evil spirit' means illness, since speaking of priest's efforts following successful medical intervention he 'treatment' 'cure' method treating the mentally first putting hands physician leaving Church survived days, tradition considering neuroses inseparably within province Church alleged psychotherapeutic wisdom. would mistake, however,
order to answer this question, we should obviouslyexamine Weyer's Depraestigiis to see if it contains elements of what is called, perhaps inappropriately, a myth. One of my students researched this and provided me with the results . She demonstrated that Johann Weyer was nowhere presented as one who opposed the theological approach by means of a medical approach. Admittedly, he pointed to certain 'somatic' causes which affected the physical constitution of witches and which predisposed them to be influenced by the peculiar materiality of the devil's 'spirit'. Weyer even spoke of 'melancholia' when he described the specificsomatic constitution of the witches. But in this he did not differ from the philosophers, theologians and physicians of his time. The same can be argued regarding the second element of the myth. Certainly, Weyer pleaded for a humanitarian approach and acted courageously against unnecessary cruelty , as Montaigne and others did. However, does this imply that he was defending an approach which foreshadowed the specific psychiatric practice? I find it impossible to draw this conclusion. Nevertheless, the debate around witch-hunting was of historical significance for modern times because of the changes which it introduced in the Western concept of man. More elements are involved than are usually related in the traditional Weyer myth. The witch-hunt period was also the period during which the disciplines of theology and philosophy started to diverge. The Reformation and the subsequent wars of religion were partly responsible for this development. It was also influenced by the new findings in lruman biology. Around that time, the circulatory system was discovered. One had also become aware of the existence and importance of the nervous system, although its precise way of functioning was not yet fully understood. The theory of physiological humours was being gradually discarded and, along with it, the belief in 'spirits', the very tiny but distinct material elements in the body's centre. The manner in which Descartes, for example, attempted to construct a. theory of the blood's circuiation which did not abandon the belief in these material spirits, demonstrates how difficult was for modern thought to leave the old experience of the body behind. Moreover, religion was linked to this bodily experience. The beliefs that a human being was part of the harmony of creation, that mankind was influenced by the cosmos, that all kinds of spirits existed; the moral consequences derived from these key beliefs and the more particular religious statements such as, for example, transubstantiation as the core of the Eucharist, were shaken by the new conceptions of the human body which focused on 'man as a machine'. It is characteristic of the changes in this period that the Church did not attack Descartes's philosophical system for its sceptical point of departure. At that time, scepticism was an attitude favoured
textbooks present Johann Weyer manner, perpetuating myth. Weyer place medicine opposition religion nor strive establish an autonomous psychothera- peutic practice completely independent from religion. alleged opposition between enlightened medicine theology between humanitarian physician cruel churchman are myths.
transubstantiation which formulated in Aristotelian terms. Considered within changing cultural environment, discussions touched broader debate concerning concept of human nature linked concept of human might state foundation medical notion 'illness' established at point. Consequently,
person present approach manner, apply arrange adoption several institutions. Moreover, Pinel authored which was become manifesto psychiatry psychiatry succeeded being recognized specific branch medicine, namely
had murdered two of his own children in order make sure that they would go heaven. In his treatment, Pinel asked the patient memorize Voltaire's poem concerning natural In Pinel's treatise, there was even a section on demonology bearing the title 'What should one think of those supposedly possessed by the demon?' Johann Weyer is referred to, yet, surprisingly enough, in a completely different way than one would expect. According Pinel, the reader might fmd it odd that
diagnosed as being ill due to his belief in the devil. However, he opposed faith in materialism which could become the source of other forms of mental illness.P In Macario's text, Weyer appeared for the first time as the predecessor of the psychiatric practice." His polemic tone is in stark contrast to the cursory tone adopted by Esquirol and Brierre de Boismont only a few years earlier. At the same time, French psychiatry was focusing its research on the theme of hallucination. Prior to this, the theme had barely been investigated because the debate around Esquirol's monomania drew the interest of the larger public . Parchappe wrote a long commentary on Malleus maleficarumr: Brierre de Boismont devoted an extensive work to the history of visions, ecstasies and other religious phenomena, in which he attempted to interpret the facts in a non-judgemental way. Also during that period, Calmeil authored a book on the same topic which employed a more aggressive tone and which was to become more popular: On Lunacy from thePoint ofView ofPathology, of of ofIgnorance
contained thousand pages topics Demonopathy
ByPhilosophy, History Renaissance Sciences Europe until nineteenth Century. Description theBig Epidemics Simple orComplicated Delirium Overwhelming People Earlier Times Dominating Monasteries. Exposition Judgments Injustly Passed because ofMadness.
Weyer delivered by Axenfeld Paris. Bourneville, famous neurologist Salpetriere, interested in religious phenomena. puzzling appearance of hysteria aroused curiosity regard paralyses, prolonged fasting fascinated people believed devil. became founder 'Bibliotheque diabolique', which reprinted texts
with this, Bourneville mentioned what he especially admired Weyer: The significance of this statement is obvious. Along these same lines, Richer devoted 150 pages of his Etudes sur l'hystero-epilepsie to a survey of Church history, demonstrating how religion misjudged nervous diseases when it did not favour them. These works formed the main sources for Zilboorg and Henry when they prepared the publication of their History ofMedical Psychology in 1941. Until recently, their chapters on 'The Restless Surrender to Demonology' and 'The Blows of the Witches' Hammer' determined the content of the historical surveys given in most psychiatric textbooks. Conclusion The problem with the myth of psychiatry's victory over demonology is that it does not merely involve the existence of an untrue story, unjustly related to the history of psychiatry. Much more is at stake than the historical inaccuracy regarding an event from the past. What is important is that the rather recent problematic concerning the relationship between psychiatry and religion had been concealed by the myth and that it still has not been solved. I add these last words with some hesitation. It is not my intention to plead for some sort of intergration between religion -as we conceive it now -and psychiatry or psychotherapy -as they have developed over the past two centuries. However, it seems important to me to understand exactly what happened during the debate between psychiatry and religion in the nineteenth century . It would be too simplistic state that, at that time, religion had to give way other approaches of reality and to different social structures organizing modem society. What occurred was not merely a shift from one agency to another . Social interactions were completely reorganized, causing religion undergo a profound mutation.
strived demonstrate crimes witches were accused of fictitious; women were criminals patients suffering mental illness; should sentenced priests, monks nor judges; consequently should prison, tortured
body, unreliability natural environ- unavoidability death. specifically, social scient usually identify five major functions (Sebald, 1978:170-193): Explaining natural boundaries Seeking Channeling aggression, frequently scapegoating. Servi theory field large part, report about a certain graphic cultural setting belief witchcraft--and lesser extent actual practice it--has tradition, tradition that, however, is rapidly paper report
outside of area. position constable abolished a generations perhaps simple reason record always nearly nonexisting communities; and even during recent years, experienced a steep increase in crime rates crime understood practice witchcraft exclusive of witch (though person reputation practicing witchcraft frequently, basis greed hatred), could practiced There were, however, prerequisites. formulas, including those that
relatively unimportant discuss whether witchcraft based witchery unrealistically imagining something practiced either case, social and psycho- logical effect. (This brings classic reality person derives definition situation (1937).) point understand witchery, within limits democratic quality prac- ticed desired. short, const ituted
service as funct ioni justice magic. balanced benefits. attracting curses because others factors progress, technological peasants. reasons region re- long. nature witchcraft includes there persons practice their lifestyle these deviants funct ion nnovator Perhaps seclu- region simply screened out basic technological infor- mation necessary start innovations. poverty experiments there could Finally, their magical found theological mental limits Rather understanding witch-reputed individuals innovators, might better be usually quarrelsome personalities within general folk-Catholic Weltans- rather breaking other words, their "innovations" place within general magico-re1igious orienta-
night October Giovanna Bonanno, widow beggar, believed witch, was arrested Palermo. possessed classic characteristics of a
leaving whoever understood mediated those powers morally legally without blame. short, those Bonanno intent murder. mixtures attain their desired effect, intent remained. Giovanna Bonanno discovery changed devised herbalist, Saverio lived Gioia Papiretos--cwas cured given abundant doses woman intuited immedi- ately mixture another money selling lotion became, eager and
could mixed undetected drink common remedies doctors adminis- tered to the sick: water lemon rind, "seasonal water,"! "simple broth."? result, women Bonanno magic accepted equal naturalness. anything, showed some disbelief woman boasted about vinegar's marvels, reconsidered moment faced atrocious sufferings of their husbands after administered first doses. Moreover, vinegar required eight fifteen reach effect: enough husbands confession
'Alembert letter published "Following viceroy wrote marquis Sambuca-"I three women horror prisons Office], since there. whose sentence already served freed because subsistence, adding relied other women found themselves locked accused of witchcraft magic spells,
confided Giuseppe Cicero, earlier wife: about fight other She's always making fuss, saying taking advantage of afraid these going poison 'Ancona seemed claim status of a potential victim, unlikely seem, while advance broke," Billotta), would carry poison himself ("Surely can't bring three small flasks break. anyway, taking one!'?"), Eventually, coins
comes out of mouths about what's going grind grain break bones Saint Sebastian"!'). Despite these threats Bonanno intention losing earnings, especially on such a deal. first it might appear killed his because Maria Zuccaro, barely fourteen,
point Pitarra suggested Bonanno's "mystery liquid," which would Cesare slowly,"63 and ad- vised Nunzio would willing marry future time. Nunzio distance plot, perhaps because magic women's work. Nonetheless, after hearing her first installment money needed, saying: money. you,"64 trying to distance himself from moral responsibility Actually, apparently troubled Cesare's suffering, money needed icine doctors prescribed Cesare." evident Maria Nunzio believed dealing "magic potion
Seneca language, religion, 1930, Seneca literate primarily Seneca language, honored long- house religion, school degree regularity. Traditional Seneca achieved an unrecorded victory 130years policy; their victory against attempt stigmatize Seneca Cayuga culture as "murderous," "pagan," witchcraft Jimerson/Bowen trial publicized.
Iroquois there fascination sexual behavior women. issue Iroquois preferred their marriage white marriage laws, which resulted their "living sin.'.' witnesses before Assembly Commission stated Indian women reputation elected members handled minor civil matters, including land disputes, marriages, divorces. Seneca crime beyond reservation boundaries secuted local officials under State Within reser- vation boundaries, however, State lacked criminal jurisdiction. Following passage Major Crimes
state resisted federal Major Crimes decision (1883), which clearly provided various tribes control of their customary codes of criminal except certain enumerated, serious criminal offenses which were under federal authority. felony assault between Tuscaroras committed on Tuscarora reservation near Niagara Falls. O'Brien, attorney State beyond presenting Major Crimes argued federal government never authority over State's Indians, denied existence
YOU ARE A DEVIL, YOU ARE A WITCH AND, IF ARE A WITCH, YOU THE INTEGRATION OF 'PAGAN' INTO THE UNIVERSE OF CHRISTIANS SOUTHEASTERN
DEVIL, DEVIL. IDEAS NCEPT GHANA!