Er stand dabei unter Zeitdruck, was durch zahlreiche Fehler bei den Nummerierungen der Kapitel, bei Fragestellungen und Querverweisen deutlich wird. Durch klare Regeln wird eine systematische Verfolgung und Vernichtung der vermeintlichen Hexen gefordert. Er verwies auch oft auf die Bibel. Er verfasste sein Werk in lateinischer Sprache. Bei einigen Autoren regte sich deutlicher Widerstand gegen diese Schrift.
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It stated that witchcraft and magic were delusions and that those who believed in such things "had been seduced by the Devil in dreams and visions". It was not a success: he was expelled from the city of Innsbruck and dismissed by the local bishop as "senile and crazy". Kramer received a papal bull Summis desiderantes affectibus in It gave full papal approval for the Inquisition to prosecute what was deemed to be witchcraft in general and also gave individual authorizations to Kramer and Dominican Friar Jacob Sprenger specifically.
The same day Sprenger became successor to Jacob Strubach as provincial superior October 19, , he obtained permission from his general, Joaquino Turriani, to lash out adversus m[agistrum] Henricum Institoris inquisitorem English: against Master Heinrich Kramer, inquisitor. According to historian Jenny Gibbons: in the s, when feminist and Neo-Pagan authors turned their attention to the witch trials, the Malleus Maleficarum Hammer of Witches was the only manual readily available in translation.
Authors naively assumed that the book painted an accurate picture of how the Inquisition tried witches. Actually the Inquisition immediately rejected the legal procedures Kramer recommended and censured the inquisitor himself just a few years after the Malleus was published. Secular courts, not inquisitorial ones, resorted to the Malleus. Previously, those convicted of witchcraft typically suffered penalties no more harsh than public penances such as a day in the stocks ,  but their persecution became more brutal following the publication of the Malleus Maleficarum, as witchcraft became widely accepted as a real and dangerous phenomenon.
The Catholic Church played an important role in shaping of debate on demonology, but the discourse was not much affected by the Reformation. Martin Luther was also convinced about the reality and evil of witches, and facilitated development of Protestant demonology. For the post-Enlightenment Christians, the disbelief was based on a belief in rationalism and empiricism.
Hence, he has also caused a certain unusual heretical perversity to grow up in the land of the Lord — a Heresy, I say, of Sorceresses, since it is to be designated by the particular gender over which he is known to have power. Therefore, it is not an endorsement of a specific final text of the Malleus. Instead, its inclusion implicitly legitimizes the handbook by providing general confirmation of the reality of witchcraft and full authority to Sprenger and Institoris in their preachings and proceedings:   And they shall also have full and entire liberty to propound and preach to the faithful Word of God, as often as it shall seem to them fitting and proper, in each and all of the parosh churches in the said provinces, and to do all things necessary and suitable under the aforesaid circumstances, and likewise freely and fully to carry them out.
Maximilian I] takes these Inquisitors under his complete protection, ordering and commanding each and every subject of the Roman Empire to render all favor and assistance to these Inquisitors and otherwise to act in the manner that is more fully contained and included in the letter. Let all those who will read, see or hear the present public document know that in the year since the Birth of Our Lord , in the fifth indiction, on Saturday, the nineteenth day of May, at five in the afternoon or thereabouts, in the third year of the Pontificate of Our Lord, the Most Holy Father in Christ, Lord Innocent VIII, by Divine Providence Pope, in the presence of my notary public and of the witnesses written below who had been specifically summoned and asked for this purpose, the venerable and religious Brother Henricus Institoris, Professor of Holy Theology and member of the Order of Preachers , who was appointed as Inquisitor into Heretical Depravity by the Holy See along with his colleague, the venerable and religious Brother Jacobus Sprenger, also a Professor of Holy Theology and Prior of the Convent of Preachers in Cologne[ This was in fact done in the ways written below.
The difference is that four signatories of the first part testify that they have examined the treatises and endorse its text while in the second signing signatories do not assert that they have read the treatises but nonetheless express approval by explicitly restating some general propositions of the treatises and endorsing them instead.
It should be ensured that this treatise will become known to learned and zealous men, who will then, on the basis of it, provide various healthy and appropriate advice for the extermination of sorceresses [ Indeed, according to the pronouncements of the Holy Doctors it is necessary to admit that such acts can sometimes happen. Nonetheless, secrets that are heard at any time by inquisitors should not be revealed to everyone. The first section is aimed at clergy and tries to refute critics who deny the reality of witchcraft, thereby hindering its prosecution.
The second section describes the actual forms of witchcraft and its remedies. The third section is to assist judges confronting and combating witchcraft, and to aid the inquisitors by removing the burden from them. Each of the three sections has the prevailing themes of what is witchcraft and who is a witch.
Section I [ edit ] Section I examines the concept of witchcraft theoretically, from the point of view of natural philosophy and theology. Witches entered into a pact with Satan to allow them the power to perform harmful magical acts, thus establishing an essential link between witches and the Devil.
The arguments are clearly laid for the lay magistrates prosecuting witches. The section offers a step-by-step guide to the conduct of a witch trial, from the method of initiating the process and assembling accusations, to the interrogation including torture of witnesses, and the formal charging of the accused. The Malleus urges them to adopt torture, leading questions, the admission of denunciation as valid evidence, and other Inquisitorial practices to achieve swift results.
Moreover, the authors insist that the death penalty for convicted witches is the only sure remedy against witchcraft. They maintain that the lesser penalty of banishment prescribed by Canon Episcopi for those convicted of harmful sorcery does not apply to the new breed of witches, whose unprecedented evil justifies capital punishment. It was a standard mode of argumentation in scholastic discourse with a long tradition. The Malleus also mentions astrology and astronomy, which had recently been reintroduced to the West through the ancient works of Pythagoras.
The Malleus recommended not only torture but also deception in order to obtain confessions: "And when the implements of torture have been prepared, the judge, both in person and through other good men zealous in the faith, tries to persuade the prisoner to confess the truth freely; but, if he will not confess, he bid attendants make the prisoner fast to the strappado or some other implement of torture.
The attendants obey forthwith, yet with feigned agitation. Then, at the prayer of some of those present, the prisoner is loosed again and is taken aside and once more persuaded to confess, being led to believe that he will in that case not be put to death.
But, if not even thus he can be brought into terror and to the truth, then the next day or the next but one is to be set for a continuation of the tortures — not a repetition, for it must not be repeated unless new evidences produced. The judge must then address to the prisoners the following sentence: We, the judge, etc. The text argues that women are more susceptible to demonic temptations through the manifold weaknesses of their gender.
It was believed that they were weaker in faith and more carnal than men. The reasons for this is the suggestion that women are "prone to believing and because the demon basically seeks to corrupt the faith, he assails them in particular.
The major reason is that at the foundation of sorcery is denial of faith and "woman, therefore, is evil as a result of nature because she doubts more quickly in the faith. The most common form of male witch mentioned in the book is the sorcerer-archer. The book is rather unclear, but the impetus behind male witches seems to come more from desire for power than from disbelief or lust, as it claims is the case for female witches.
Indeed, the very title of the Malleus Maleficarum is feminine, alluding to the idea that it was women who were the villains. In Latin, the feminine maleficarum would only be used for women, while the masculine maleficorum could be used for men alone or for both sexes if together. It goes on to give accounts of witches committing these crimes. Arguments favoring discrimination against women are explicit in the handbook. Those arguments are not novel but constitute a selection from the long tradition of Western misogynist writings.
However, according to Brauner, they are combined to produce new meanings and result in a comprehensive theory. It mixes elements borrowed from Formicarius , Preceptorium divinae legis and Lectiones super ecclesiastes Everything exists in pairs of opposites: God and Satan, Mary and Eve, and men or virgins and women.
Each positive principle in a pair is delineated by its negative pole. Perfection is defined not as the integration or preservation of opposites, but rather as the extermination of the negative element in a polar pair. Because women are the negative counterpart to men, they corrupt male perfection through witchcraft and must be destroyed. They took place in Ravensburg near Constance and Innsbruck since His position was in harmony with the scholastic theory at the time.
Authors warn of imminent arrival of the apocalypse foretold in the Bible and that men risk bewitchment that leads to impotence and sensation of castration. But the monastic life is reserved to the spiritually gifted few. Therefore, most women are doomed to become witches, who cannot be redeemed; and the only recourse open to the authorities is to ferret out and exterminate all witches.
Strixology in the Malleus Maleficarum is characterized by a very specific conception of what a witch is, one that differs dramatically from earlier times. The word used, malefica, carries an explicit condemnation absent in other words referring to women with supernatural powers. The conception of witches and of magic by extension is one of evil. It differs from earlier conceptions of witchcraft that were much more generalized. The witch lost her powerful position vis-a-vis the deities; the ability to force the deities comply with her wishes was replaced by a total subordination to the devil.
In this conception, a witch was a member of "a malevolent society presided over by Satan himself and dedicated to the infliction of malevolent acts of sorcery maleficia on others. They interact with witches, usually sexually.
The book claims that it is normal for all witches "to perform filthy carnal acts with demons. The book claims that "the nobility of their nature causes certain demons to balk at committing certain actions and filthy deeds.
For example, it devotes large sections to incubi and succubi and questions regarding their roles in pregnancies, the submission of witches to incubi, and protections against them.
Controversies[ edit ] Approbation and authorship[ edit ] Joseph Hansen, a historian who was appalled by the witch-craze and those who carried it out, proposed that coauthorship by Sprenger was a falsehood presented by Institoris Kramer and that approbation is partially a forgery. The evidence for this is in my view very tenuous and the main argument is clearly invalid. In his introduction, he ignores completely the theory that joint authorship or approbation could be a mystification.
Nonetheless, he mentions briefly that it was questioned whether Kramer or Sprenger contributed more to the work. He comments that "in the case of such a close collaboration any such inquiry seems singularly superfluous and nugatory". Secular courts, not inquisitorial ones, resorted to the Malleus". It was not a success and he was asked to leave the city of Innsbruck.
It directed Bishop of Strasburg then Albert of Palatinate-Mosbach to accept the authority of Heinrich Kramer as an Inquisitor, although the motivation of the papal bull was likely political. Post-publication[ edit ] Kramer was intensely writing and preaching until his death in Bohemia in They were worthy of presence and patronage of Patriarch of Venice.
He was appointed as papal nuncio and his assignment as inquisitor was changed to Bohemia and Moravia by Pope Alexander VI in Later, he was elected Provincial Superior of the whole German Province in He had enormous responsibilities. He received a letter from Pope Alexander VI praising his enthusiasm and energy in Those who did, attributed female witchery to the weakness of body and mind the old medieval explanation and a few to female sexuality.
The invention of printing some thirty years before the first publication of the Malleus Maleficarum instigated the fervor of witch hunting, and, in the words of Russell, "the swift propagation of the witch hysteria by the press was the first evidence that Gutenberg had not liberated man from original sin. The Malleus Maleficarum and the witch craze that ensued took advantage of the increasing intolerance of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation in Europe, where the Protestant.