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How Did Christianity View Witchcraft in Both Europe’s Early Modern Period and How Did It Change During 21st Century Society?

Essay by   •  August 8, 2016  •  Research Paper  •  3,735 Words (15 Pages)  •  942 Views

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Witchcraft

Research Question: How did Christianity view witchcraft in both Europe’s early modern period and how did it change during 21st century society?

Subject: History

School Name: Riffa Views International School

Student Name: Justine Abcede

Word Count: 2977

Abstract

        Witchcraft has been present since the beginning of time. People’s views regarding witchcraft have changed throughout the years. Though the popularity of witches have increased during Europe’s Early Modern Period. The leading religion during that time is Christianity which leads us to the question on how did Christianity view witchcraft in both Europe’s early modern period and how did it change during 20st century society?         

In this research essay, looking into the history of the Christianity and understanding their interpretations of Witchcraft showed the way they perceive witches. It also provides an explanation on how witch persecutions came to be and what was the role of the Christian Church. Witch-hunting has greatly increased causing mass murder around Europe. Witches face terrible injustices due to the misconception of women held by the church. Witch-hunting began decreasing during the 17th century and soon was completely banned during the 18th century. Due to the power and influence of the Christian church, witchcraft was viewed as a work of the devil during the early modern period but those views have changed in the 21st century when people, though still considered religious, became more open to new ideas. People’s view on witchcraft during the modern age has greatly changed compared to the early modern period. The idea of witches soon became normal and gained popularity in pop culture. Though there are some exceptions in countries areas like Africa and Papua New Guinea where witch-hunting still exist.

        The reason for this research is to educate people about witchcraft and to show how religion can affect ones thinking. In conclusion witchcraft did evolve throughout the ages due to the revolution of thinking.

Word Count: 275

Table of Contents

Abstract……………………………………………………………………2

Table of Contents………………………………………………………….3

Introduction………………………………………………………………..4-5

Methodology………………………………………………………………5

The History of Witchcraft…………………………………………………5-6

Witchcraft in Europe during the Early Modern Period……………………6-9

Witchcraft in Modern Times………………………………………………9-12

Conclusion.………………………………………………………………...12-13

Introduction

Witchcraft has been present throughout time and has been practiced by various people in different places. How did Christianity view witchcraft in both Europe’s early modern period and how did it change during 21st century society? Religion like Christianity has been aggressive towards the idea of witchcraft. It has been said that paganism and it’s magic is a way for the devil to lure in people away from Christianity. The popularity of hunting has increased during late sixteenth century towards the late seventeenth century in Europe. Hunting witches and putting them on trials have been put to practice and women were the most accused. New types of religion have risen from witchcraft like Paganisms and Wicca. The beliefs of witches being evil are dismissed, for now most of them worship nature and address a goddess.      

This topic is significant because it shows how religion can impact someone’s way of thinking and how that impact could seriously affect a certain group of people. A person’s action can be influenced by an organization and follow their every rule. The lack of knowledge about witches and their beliefs has caused mass murder throughout Europe.  

The increase of popularity of witches and supernatural beings in pop culture has gotten me interested because it is associated with fear that appeals to my interest. After watching movies like Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters and TV shows like Supernatural, it has caught my attention and made me want to investigate more on witch trials and how witchcraft is more open and accepted today. I also find it interesting on how people would do anything for their beliefs even though it may not be morally right. Due to the power and influence of the Christian church, witchcraft was viewed as a work of the devil during the early modern period but those views have changed in the 21st century when people, though still considered religious, became more open to new ideas. In this essay I will first discuss how witchcraft is viewed in Europe’s early modern period and how religion has played a role on people’s opinions. I will then talk about how witchcraft is seen in the 21st century and also mentioning the affects of religion.  I will compare and contrast witchcraft throughout the years and conclude how people’s views changed about witchcraft.

Methodology

        Witchcraft has been popular in the areas of Western Europe during the sixteenth and seventeenth century. By researching the history in countries like England, Germany, and France in which witchcraft took off during the Early Modern Period would help me understand how it started in those areas. Christianity was the main religion in Europe and it was the reason why witches were killed. I would have to look up religious documents or statements made by the church on witchcraft like one prominent example is the Bible. To be able to find information about modern witchcraft, looking into newspaper articles could help me backup on information about modern witches. By searching up new religions that have risen from witchcraft would be good information to back up the new ways of modern witchcraft.  From all the information that is collected, comparing and contrasting the two different time periods would be simpler due to all the data collected.

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