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On the confessional uses and history of witchcraft: Thomas Stapleton's 1594 witchcraft oration

Machielsen, Jan ORCID: 2018. On the confessional uses and history of witchcraft: Thomas Stapleton's 1594 witchcraft oration. Magic, Ritual, and Witchcraft 13 (3) , pp. 381-407. 10.1353/mrw.2018.0046
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Thomas Stapleton’s influential 1594 oration “Why Has Magic Grown Today Together with Heresy?” delivered to an audience of Catholic theologians at the University of Leuven is well known to historians of the early modern witch-hunt, particularly for the confessional purposes to which it put early modern demonology. The oration offered no fewer than twelve reasons why witchcraft and heresy grew in strength together and situated the witch-hunt within a larger historical framework of continued demonic assault on mankind that spanned millennia. This annotated translation makes this text available to a wider audience for the first time. An introduction draws attention to three features of the text: the newfound urgency of the threat of witchcraft in the 1580s and 1590s, its partial reception of earlier demonological writings, and the way it co-opts the threat and severe punishment of witchcraft to foreground the much greater threat posed by heresy.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Additional Information: The posted version is an unedited draft, not for citation, of a work that has been accepted for publication in Magic, Ritual, and Witchcraft.
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press (Penn Press)
ISSN: 1556-8547
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 8 August 2018
Date of Acceptance: 30 July 2018
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2023 20:13

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