Christian Witch Hunts in Pre-Enlightenment Europe Analytical Essay by Top Papers

Christian Witch Hunts in Pre-Enlightenment Europe
An exploration of how Christians responded to natural disasters and how they contributed to notions of popular eschatology.
# 133184 | 2,500 words | 0 sources | 2007 | US


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Description:

The paper argues that Christians during the late medieval period and during the proto-modern period before the advent of the Enlightenment responded to disasters by seeking out scapegoats - and perhaps also by wondering aloud what they had done to incur the wrath of God so that He felt it necessary to permit such things to occur. The paper explains that this determination to find "those responsible" for pestilence or crop failure invariably led to the witch hunts that extended over a period encompassing roughly seven centuries - from about the thirteenth century until surprisingly well into the nineteenth century. The paper posits that of course, to really understand this violent, repressive "crackdown" upon the enemies of the state, one must examine the eschatological assumptions of the age. Hence, the paper looks at the millenarian impulses that really began to take European society over in the fourteenth century (right around the time of the Black Death) and also at how Christian thinkers galvanized the general public by suggesting that the time of the "Anti-Christ" was near and that true Christian believers had to act accordingly. The paper shows how Christian eschatology had the troubling effect, for many centuries, of convincing large numbers of Europeans that the return of the Almighty was near - and that "proper" Christians would fortify their souls by rooting out those who were heretical, unfaithful, and responsible for unnatural natural disasters.

From the Paper:

"The following paper will argue that Christians during the late medieval period and during the proto-modern period before the advent of the Enlightenment responded to disasters by seeking out scapegoats - and perhaps also by wondering aloud what they had done to incur the wrath of God so that He felt it necessary to permit such things to occur. This determination to find "those responsible" for pestilence or crop failure..."

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APA Format

Christian Witch Hunts in Pre-Enlightenment Europe (2007, December 01) Retrieved April 22, 2019, from https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/christian-witch-hunts-in-pre-enlightenment-europe-133184/

MLA Format

"Christian Witch Hunts in Pre-Enlightenment Europe" 01 December 2007. Web. 22 April. 2019. <https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/christian-witch-hunts-in-pre-enlightenment-europe-133184/>

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