Scope: Lecture Sixteen begins our long discussion of witchcraft and, more important, the European witch craze. The lecture begins by defining what witchcraft is, its place in the history of the West, and the relationship between magic and religion. The lecture looks at the anthropological explanations for the emergence of witchcraft with special attention to folklore and the survival of pre-Christian beliefs. Tracing the history of witchcraft, the lecture discusses how Christian theologians redefined witchcraft just before the end of the fifteenth century and the important shifts that occurred in the Church's treatment of those accused of witchcraft.
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