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Scholars Day: April 7, 2010

Women, the Devil, and the Church

This paper is about how women were negatively affected in the late Middle Ages by the Roman Catholic Church’s definition of witchcraft and how it also influenced everyday society, who then passed judgment on these women. The paper will prove the argument that women were victims of the Roman Catholic Church during the Middle Ages due to their definition of witchcraft and demonic possession and societal notions of the supernatural world. This argument will be delineated through two parts: the first discussing religious authority and theology on the subject of demons and witchcraft and the second discussing how these beliefs manifested itself in medieval society. Included in the first part will be an explanation of demonology, heresy, and gender relations. The second part will include popular versus elite beliefs, folk and pagan traditions, and the dichotomy of women as either saints or witches. The topic will focus on continental Europe from 1200-1500.

Presenter: Nicole Raterman (Undergraduate Student)
Topic: History
Location: 127 Hartwell
Time: 1:15 pm (Session III)