Prior to the scientific revolution lack of knowledge and the heavy influence from religious figures led people to believe that witches, who were predominantly woman due to their seemingly inferior mindset, were the causes of strange happenings and occurences. WItchcraft in this time was only feasible because to the people it explained what they thought was unusuall in nature. Many accused witches were tortured until they admitted to witchcraft and then slaughtered. No one was safe, since even city officials and other important figures were accused. The terrible time of witch hunting was the result from religious and induvidual fears.
Highly religious figures played a major role in promoting the belief of witchcraft. Pope Innocent VIII, the pope of the catholic church at the time, issued "The WItch Bull" to support his belief of the persecution of witches. He believed that "many persons of both sex...give themselves over to devils male and female," and as we are servants of god that we should "proceed to the correction, imprisonment, and punishment of the aforesaid persons..." (Doc 9). This perspective was also shared by the Protestant leaders Martin Luther and John Calvin. Luther calls male and female witches the "devils whores" and that they exist to cause chaos in the world and that the devil will not act without human help even though he can (Doc 10). Calvin on the other hand believes that the problem of witches is like "to wage war against an infinite number of enemies...". As an advocate of the joining of church and state naturally views this matter in a more secular form (Doc 11). Since the majority of europe durring this time period were highly religious they looked to their leaders for the truth. As Pope Innocent, Luther and Calvin supported the existence of witchcraft so did the people.
Accused witches were also tortured and killed because it was a convinient reason for strange occurences. The people of the time period greatly feared...
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