Monday, January 10, 2011

THE MALLEUS MALEFICARUM of Heinrich Kramer and James Sprenger

The Malleus Maleficarum (The Witch Hammer), first  published in 1486, is arguably one of the most infamous  books ever written, due primarily to its position and regard  during the Middle Ages. It served as a guidebook for  Inquisitors during the Inquisition, and was designed to aid  them in the identification, prosecution, and dispatching of  Witches. It set forth, as well, many of the modern  misconceptions and fears concerning witches and the  influence of witchcraft. The questions, definitions, and  accusations it set forth in regard to witches, which were  reinforced by its use during the Inquisition, came to be  widely regarded as irrefutable truth. Those beliefs are held  even today by a majority of Christians in regard to  practitioners of the modern “revived” religion of  Witchcraft, or Wicca. And while the Malleus itself is  largely unknown in modern times, its effects have proved  long lasting.

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