Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Thinking with DemonsThe Idea of Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Stuart Clark

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198208082

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198208082.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 08 May 2021

Witchcraft and Science

Witchcraft and Science

Chapter:
(p.151) 10 Witchcraft and Science
Source:
Thinking with Demons
Author(s):

Stuart Clark

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198208082.003.0010

No two things could be further apart, seemingly, than demonology and science. Yet between the 15th and the 18th centuries — leaving some very considerable moral issues aside — the questions that dominated learned discussions of witchcraft concerned its very possibility as a genuine occurrence in the physical world. Demonology was the study of a natural order in which the existence of demonic actions and effects was, largely, presupposed. But there were still matters of detail to discuss. Could devils and witches really achieve all the effects that were commonly attributed to them? Could witches, for example, be transported, with or without their bodies, to sabbats? Were their alleged sexual exploits with devils true or false? And, if true, could they lead to the birth of offspring? Could witches transform themselves, or others, into animals? More mundanely, could they cause storms by incantations and rites, or bring illnesses merely by looking at their victims or cursing them? From Johannes Nider, Alphonsus de Spina, and Ulrich Molitor to Joseph Glanvill, Balthasar Bekker, and Christian Thomasius these, and a cluster of related questions, were debated over and over again in literally hundreds of texts.

Keywords:   demonology, science, physical world

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .