Identify and analyze at least three major reasons for the persecution of individuals as witches in Europe from the late 15 through the 17th centuries.

Topics: Old age, Woman, Gerontology Pages: 3 (1022 words) Published: November 11, 2008
During this period religious reformation was at large in Europe. Protestant and Catholics reforms were on the rise. Moreover, the Scientific Revolution spawned in the midst of it all. With all this occurring, a demonic figure was created named witch for all those against or just not with God. Specific factors determined who would be persecuted for witchcraft. Those who forsake their religion or God, were females of certain age, and belonged to a poor social class, were sought out to be persecuted for witchcraft.

The religions practiced at the time were based on the belief in God. Gods opposite or enemy is of course the Satan. The scripture told people of demons and their ability to posses someone or a woman (Mary Magdalene) by penetrating their thoughts with pure evil. Document 4 of Group D informs us that a religious leader (John Calvin) knows that he must wage war on his enemies. People who get easily depressed and have little trust in God were said to be more prone to be deceived by the Devil. John Wier discusses this focusing on woman of old age. He as well states that Christians are the ones that choose to persecute them or not. Thus, showing us that those against Christianity were most likely seen as witches and inevitably persecuted. Furthermore, Martin Luther puts fear in his church followers; by telling them of all the witches acts of evil among the townspeople. He explains that it is the Devils work, so people following adhering to Martins words will definitely support prosecution of those against them. Likewise, even a Pope speaks of both men and women who give themselves to the Devil the moment they forsake the catholic faith. He declares them as inquisitors who must be imprisoned and punished for their offences.(Group B Doc 2) A young Protestant boy speaks of his fear of Hell and the Devil. It is clear the preachers at the time were influencing people of all age to fear and at the same time hate individuals declared witches. Therefore, such...
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