Sorcery, Heresy, and the Authority of the Church
This paper argues that there were multiple forms of heresy implemented by the Church to control opposing ideas and knowledge in the Middle Ages. The term “heresy” shift meanings for its original conception to include all beliefs that were opposed to official Church doctrine, including magic and sorcery. The inquisitorial process was implemented as a response to the laity’s attempts to interpret Church doctrine for themselves alongside their traditional beliefs. As he concept of heresy changed, so too did the Church’s view of magic, sorcery, and witchcraft. Before the inquisitorial process became widespread, magic was considered an error that could be fixed through a penitential process. By the time of the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215, the church had decided on what constituted heretical behaviour, and who had the right to punish heretics.
Copyright (c) 2015 Allison TM Bailey
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