REFORMATION. The Protestant Reformation of the 16 th century and the Catholic Counter-Reformation that occurred to some extent in response to the Protestant challenge contributed to the fear of witchcraft in Europe in complex ways. Although Protestant leaders like Martin Luther and Jean Calvin rejected many aspects of medieval theology and canon law, they did not challenge any of the basic notions of medieval demonology on which the idea of diabolical witchcraft rested. In fact, many Protestant leaders were acutely concerned about the power of the devil to assail human beings on earth. In Calvinist Scotland, for example, and especially in Puritan New England, the severity of the witch-hunts was at least partly caused by the profound concern of religious leaders over demonic and diabolic threats to their communities. Severe witch-hunts also took place in Catholic lands, however, and there were many Protestant lands where witch-hunting was relatively mild, so concern over witchcraft was clearly not linked exclusively to any one religious confession.

The social and political conflicts that emerged out of the Reformation, and especially the bloody religious wars that gripped Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries, seem to have contributed to witch-hunting only indirectly. That is, there is no clear correlation between confessional strife and frequency of witch trials, although confessional conflict certainly added to the general level of social instability that, in turn, might have led to increased concern over witchcraft and facilitated witch-hunting. The increased attention to issues of morality and concern over personal and communal religious belief that arose in this period caused by both the Protestant and Catholic Reformations also certainly helped to create a general atmosphere in which the fear of witches and witch-hunting could flourish.

REMY, NICHOLAS (1530-1612). An important French demonologist who claimed personally to have condemned over 900 witches in trials during a 10-year period in Lorraine, Remy is the author of Dae-monolatreiae (Demonolatry), first published in 1595. This became one of the major treatises on witchcraft and demonology of the 17th century, ranking in importance with those of Jean Bodin and Martin Del Rio. The authority of Remy's treatise was augmented by the

author's extensive personal experience with witches and in conducting witch trials.

Born at Charmes in Lorraine, Rémy came from a family of lawyers and in his turn went to study law at the university in Toulouse. After serving in Paris from 1563 until 1570, he became Lieutenant General of his native département of Vosges in Lorraine. Shortly thereafter, he became privy councilor to the duke of Lorraine. It was in this period that Rémy claimed to have sentenced over 900 witches, although this number cannot be confirmed from surviving records and he himself only mentions 128 witches by name. He began to become concerned about witchcraft, apparently, in 1582, when his oldest son died only shortly after Rémy had refused alms to an old beggar woman. Convinced that she was a witch who had murdered his son, he put her on trial. In 1591, he was appointed attorney general of Lorraine and was able to influence the prosecution of witches in the entire region. In 1592, an epidemic struck the city of Nancy, and Rémy left for an extended stay at a country estate, where he began composing the treatise based on his experiences.



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