Thursday, 20 December 2012

Medieval Witchcraft

Medieval Witchcraft Details
In anthropological terminology, a "witch" differs from a sorcerer in that they do not use physical tools or actions to curse; their maleficium is perceived as extending from some intangible inner quality, and the person may be unaware that they are a "witch", or may have been convinced of their own evil nature by the suggestion of others.[4] This definition was pioneered in a study of central African magical beliefs by E. E. Evans-Pritchard, who cautioned that it might not correspond with normal English usage.[5]Historians of European witchcraft have found the anthropological definition difficult to apply to European and British witchcraft, where "witches" could equally use (or be accused of using) physical techniques, as well as some who really had attempted to cause harm by thought alone.[6]As in anthropology, European witchcraft is seen by historians as an ideology for explaining misfortune; however, this ideology manifested in diverse ways. Reasons for accusations of witchcraft fall into four general categories:[7]
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