Church Reform and Witch-Hunting in the Diocese of Lausanne: The Example of Bishop George of Saluzzo
Within the thriving field of witchcraft studies, the question of the interaction between Church reform and witch-hunting has been raised only recently, at least for the period prior to the Reformation. Those authors who have examined the issue have most often addressed it from a demonological point of view, concentrating on how and to what extent reformist ideas spread into contemporary demonological writings. In this context, the significance of the Council of Basel (1431-49) has been stressed repeatedly. This was a place where numerous demonologists and inquisitors, among them the Dominican reformist friar and demonologist John Nider, had the occasion to meet one another, and to share their mutual experiences and anxieties about witches and demons with their fellow clergy, even if this particular topic did not figure in the official agenda of this reforming council.2 However, this chapter is neither about
1 I am indebted to my colleague Michael D. Bailey (Iowa State University) for proofreading my text, and to the Swiss Academy of Humanities and Social Sciences for a travel grant permitting me to attend the IMC 2009.