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Roper's Theory Of Witchcraft

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One) Prologue: Roper states that "witchcraft was a fantasy" (p. 10). What does she mean by that?

By stating that “witchcraft was a fantasy,” Roper addresses two things. The first (and most obvious) is that this conspiratorial sect of demon-worshiping baby-eaters was pure fiction. The second meaning Roper addresses, more to the point, sociopolitical origin of these fantasies and how they stem from the abstraction of era-specific anxieties that coalesced into the aforementioned fantasies of demon-worshipping baby-eaters. Accusation of witchcraft centered on beliefs that formed a fantasy that gave structure to these abstract fears, (Roper, 2004, p. 10).

The era-specific anxieties of this time period all manifest, in one variation or another,
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So ingrained into popular culture (of this era) was the myth of the witch and her diabolical practices, the accused confessed to these crimes with all the sinisterly lewd details her interrogators desired. With each new accusation, the accused would recite the folklore, “furnishing details of place and character that could persuade her hearers it was all true,” (Roper, 2004, p.11).

Two) Chapter 1: Explain some of the distinctions between Catholic and Protestant attitudes about witchcraft and how the Protestant Reformation and Catholic Counter-Reformation affected how each group saw the other.

During this time period, German territories were divided between (relatively new) Protestants and the Roman Catholic Church. Each one vied for eagerly for the souls of the populace and each one had its own perceptions of witchcraft. Despite their differences, there overall stance towards witchcraft was similar, both taking cues from Kramer’s work, (Roper, 2004, p.
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In contrast to the Roman Catholic Church, Protestant world-view possessed a more distinct boundary between the celestial, the infernal, and the terrestrial. To Protestants, the fight against magic and the Roman Catholic Church was necessary because both “epitomized this mistaken understanding of the sacred," (Roper, 2004, p. 39)

Three) Chapter 2: According to Roper, bodies were the site of truth about witchcraft and Satan, and "extreme physical and emotional states were part of the routine of witch-hunting" (p. 54). Using examples from the text, explain what she means by that.

Roper is addressing an array of complex emotional reactions that accused witches exhibited during the interrogation process. The physical threat of torture, the social repercussions of the examination, and the various responses of the accused all contributed to the “extreme physical and emotional states” that comprised the examination and interrogation
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