counter reformation

Witch Persecutions, Women, and Social Change: Germany 1560-1660

Posted on Jan 15, 2012 in counter reformation, reformation, social history, witchcraft, women's history | Comments Off

Witch Persecutions, Women, and Social Change: Germany 1560-1660

PART FOUR, Last in a series Read Part One, Part Two, and Part Three. The late 16th and early 17th century was an era of radical social, economic, and religious change. As women had much to lose, they had reason to rebel. And they remained a threat to the new social order. Art of this period often depicted women as insubordinate and wanton: beating their husbands, swilling wine, and lustfully dragging men to bed (Merchant 133). Reformer John Knox was of the opinion that if a woman was presumptuous enough to rise above a man, she must be “repressed and bridled” (Ibid 145). This was...

Read More

Witch Persecutions, Women, and Social Change–Germany: 1560 – 1660

Posted on Aug 27, 2011 in counter reformation, early modern europe, reformation, renaissance, witchcraft, women's history | 3 comments

Witch Persecutions, Women, and Social Change–Germany: 1560 – 1660

Burning witches, 1555. PART THREE (Read Part One and Part Two.) Major witch hunting panics arose in the 1560s throughout Europe and were especially severe in the German Southwest. Who were the victims of this mass hysteria? Even though witches were believed to come from all social classes, the trials focused on poor, middle-aged or older women (Merchant 138). Throughout Europe, midwives and healers were particularly suspect. These “wise women” who healed with herbs were held especially suspect, as they were often older women who had astonishing empirical knowlege, which their...

Read More