Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Between the Devil and the HostImagining Witchcraft in Early Modern Poland$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Michael Ostling

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199587902

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199587902.001.0001

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: 18 January 2021

Piety in the Torture Chamber

Piety in the Torture Chamber

(p.183) 8 Piety in the Torture Chamber
Between the Devil and the Host

Michael Ostling

Oxford University Press

What can the Polish witch-trials tell us about Christianity in early modern Poland? Missionaries and reformers constructed Christianity in opposition to paganism, superstition, ignorance, and magic—a rhetorical strategy that nearly always renders the peasantry as ignorant, practico-magical, or worse. Modern scholarship has too often repeated this pattern, making use of Frazer’s distinction between magic and religion without examining the Christian apologetic genealogy of that schema. The confessions of accused witches under torture challenge our preconceptions, and require us to hear Christianity in their invocations of Jesus, the Holy Sacrament, the Virgin Mary, and all the saints in their time of trial. Read carefully, some confessions to diabolical witchcraft can be seen as witnesses to Christian piety.

Keywords:   Christianity, piety, torture, paganism, magic and religion, confession, superstition

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 .