Witchcraft During The Middle Ages

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Those who claimed to know the future and weren’t prophets were convicted of blasphemy and witchcraft and were punished. It was considered witchcraft because fortune-telling required a direct relationship between a human or witch and unholy spiritual powers. During the Middle Ages, witchcraft in ecclesiastic or church courts was presided over by church-appointed officials. This may have caused biased opinions and also links to religion being a cause of the harsh punishment. In medieval judicial proceedings, torture was sometimes used as a means of extracting information concerning witchcraft, and confessions were not uncommon. Historical evidence states that many confessed out of fear of being tortured and not because they were truly guilty.…show more content…
The Salem Village argued amongst itself for many years on whether the church should adopt the more liberal Half-Way Covenant, that loosened the rules of church membership and carried on the strict original Calvinist doctrine. The doctrine separated the elect or “visible saints” whom God had predestined for salvation from the rest. It stated that the elect sat apart in church and only they could take communion and were assured of heaven. This caused instability and dissension in the beliefs of the people. Thomas Hobbes, an English philosopher, scientist, and historian, believed that those who claimed to be witches were condemned for their false religious beliefs since witchcraft was so close to a new religion than craft. Though with all this evidence, many people still think that the Salem events were not unique to Puritism, or any other belief system or ethnic group. The importance of religion to the people in the Salem villages caused insecurities among them to the point where they would do anything to not be outcasts for being
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