EXCLUSIVE WEBINAR | “Doubting Witchcraft: Opposing the Witch-hunt in the Renaissance”
Presented by Dr. Matteo Duni
with Additional Commentary by Dr. Rocky Ruggiero
For about three centuries (1400-1700), Europeans believed that some persons would make a pact with the Devil and renounce Christianity, fly over broomsticks to huge gatherings where they would kill and eat babies, urinate on the cross, and worship Satan as their god. Church and state authorities mobilized against such mortal enemies of humankind, the witches, prosecuting hundreds of thousands of people in a campaign that killed at least 90,000 women and men and destroyed the lives of countless others. Popular culture paints the picture of an entire continent supporting the great European witch-hunt, but in reality not a few significant figures dared to challenge the consensus about the sect of devil-worshipping, night-flying witches. My talk will focus on the witchcraft skeptics, a series of high-profile intellectuals, professionals, officials who argued that the witch-hunters’ theories were impossible physically, unsound theologically, and unprovable legally. While their voices were not sufficient to prevent the massacre, they did – in the long run – help bring about the decline and end of witchcraft prosecutions, while also giving a fundamental contribution to the rise of a secularized approach to the study of law and nature.
The webinar will include a 45-minute lecture followed by 15-minutes of Q&A.
- Your participation is confirmed once you have purchased your ticket. You will receive the Zoom link to join the presentation circa 30 minutes before the start time.
- VIDEO RECORDING of the webinar will be available for unlimited streaming at your convenience for 7 days after the event.