By Louise Nyholm Kallestrup, Raisa Maria Toivo
This publication breaks with 3 universal scholarly boundaries of periodization, self-discipline and geography in its exploration of the similar topics of heresy, magic and witchcraft. It units apart built chronological barriers, and in doing so goals to accomplish a clearer photograph of what ‘went before’, in addition to what ‘came after’. hence the amount demonstrates continuity in addition to switch within the ideas and understandings of magic, heresy and witchcraft. moreover, the geographical trend of similarities and diversities indicates a comparative procedure, transcending confessional in addition to nationwide borders. during the medieval and early smooth interval, the orthodoxy of the Christian Church used to be always contested. The problem of heterodoxy, particularly as expressed in several types of heresy, magic and witchcraft, used to be continuously current in the course of the interval 1200-1650. Neither contesters nor fans of orthodoxy have been homogeneous teams or fractions. They themselves and their principles replaced from one century to the following, from zone to quarter, even from urban to urban, yet inside a typical framework of interpretation. This selection of essays specializes in this complicated.
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Additional resources for Contesting Orthodoxy in Medieval and Early Modern Europe: Heresy, Magic and Witchcraft
Diarium Vadstenense describes the case of a certain Hemming, ‘a simple and rustic man’ (vir simplex et rusticus) who presents to the clergy various articles, ‘some of which were contrary to the faith, some contrary to the doctrine of the saints, some contrary to the rule of [the Order of] Saint Saviour’ (de quibus aliqui fuerunt contra fidem, aliqui contra 42 S. MITCHELL decreta sanctorum, aliqui contra regulam Salvatoris), and declares himself to be a messenger from the Virgin Mary. These items were detailed for the bishop of Linköping (Nils König, bishop from 1441 to 1458) and were included in the examination of Hemming about the possibility of heresy (de heresi).
37 2. Although Denmark’s Valdemar Atterdag had conquered Gotland several decades earlier (1362), Visby remained part of the Swedish diocese of Linköping and there at the close of the fourteenth century, the priest at St Olai Church, Heyno, argued, in writing and in his preaching, that it was a mortal sin to attend a mass officiated by a priest himself guilty of a mortal sin, nor could such a priest offer absolution. 38 3. The Birgittine mother house at Vadstena in Östergotland was visited in 1442 by a peasant who was subsequently charged with heresy.
In such a context, rumours of first- hand encounters between the living and the dead held an obvious appeal. Moreover, such stories existed in an ambiguous position vis-à-vis Christian doctrine: though not quite orthodox, they never were declared heretical either. Hence they could conveniently be put to use as vivid proofs of the reality of life after death, thus sustaining the central doctrine of the faith. For we modern scholars, investigating the ways in which medieval people imagined the dead casts light upon the multiplicity of overlapping religious epistemologies in the Middle Ages, and their conceptualizations of the human.