The Growing Association of Witchcraft with Heresy
During the Middle Ages the concept of the witch was developing.During ancient times, there had existed an image of the sorcery, but the traditional typology of the witch did not exist.The development of this typology dealt with many aspects of the witch.There was the growing association between witchcraft and heresy.The practices that came to be viewed as witchcraft had their foundation in ancient practices.Those ancient practices were not seen as heretical but as folk practices.However, by the 15th century the image of the witch had been vilified.This vilification can bee seen in the conception of the witches sabbath.
Early writers did not believe in witchcraft.When Augustine writes of witchcraft in his On Christian Teachings, he talks about witchcraft in terms of superstitions.He counsels Christians to reject and avoid "the specialist in this kind of futile and harmless superstition." Augustine's objection is not because he sees them has having any diabolical power but because the practitioners are engaging in unchristian pursuits.He opposes the worship or idols not because of the power of the idol but because it is worshiped to in a manner due only to god.Augustine does not call witches heretics and does not believe they have any powers.Yet, in 426, he is introducing the ideal that Christians should not associate with people who practice magic.This ideal presumes that the practitioners of magic are not Christian and are doing something wrong.
Regino of Prüm makes a bolder statement on the connection between witchcraft and heresy.He quotes the apostle when directing bishops on how to deal with people engaged in sortilegium and maleficium, "Avoid the man that is a heretic…"Thus in 906 the practice of witchcraft is established as heretical.Even the distinction of being heretical does not lead to belief in the pr…

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