Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Malleus Maleficarum was not a mistake

If you doubt the dangers, the direct dangers, presented by the texts of the religionists then I suggest you do a little reading on the manual of operations called the Malleus Maleficarum.

Between 1487 and 1520, twenty editions of the Malleus were published, and another sixteen editions were published between 1574 and 1669. Popular accounts suggest that the extensive publishing of the Malleus Maleficarum in 1487 launched centuries of witch-hunts in Europe. Estimations of deaths have varied widely. According to MacCulloch, the Malleus was one of several key causes of the witch craze, along with popular superstition, jealousy of witches' knowledge from humanist scholars, and tensions created by the Reformation.

Deaths caused and torture directed by religious mandate...

Tens of thousands of people were executed for witchcraft in Europe and the American colonies. Although it is not possible to ascertain the exact number, modern scholars estimate around 40–50,000. Common methods of execution for convicted witches were hanging, drowning and burning. Burning was often favored, particularly in Europe, as it was considered a more painful way to die. Prosecutors in the American colonies generally preferred hanging in cases of witchcraft.

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