Witchcraft: Its Effects on Reformers and Europe.
Witchcraft was seen as a major threat throughout medieval Europe. "The development of medieval witchcraft is closely bound to that of heresy, the struggle for the expression of religious feeling beyond the limits tolerated by the Church. Sometimes that struggle was directed by fanatics whose conviction of self-righteousness enabled them to justify any excess so long as it hurt established society." There is really no better way to put how and what witchcraft is than the way stated above. The subject at hand brought about its strongest fears from the period of 1100-1700, and then started to die down a bit. However between 1560 and 1650 is where it was the strongest. This period was known as the, "witchcraft craze." Many people were accused, and prosecuted and many were put to death because of the ever-constant paranoia of witches. People were better off admitting that they were a witch, even if they were not; due to the horrible tortures that they would be put through after denial. If someone were just to admit to being a witch that person would then have the spirits removed from them. It is not just something that was common in the poor class. Witchcraft effected everyone from the common people to popes, and even some of the great reformers of the period. People such as the philosopher, St. Thomas Aquinas, and reformers like Martin Luther and Jean Calvin. Witchcraft .
was considered to be an evil magic. If someone were to have a special skill, or achieve a great something, the people of this time could only attribute it to magic. They thought that anything so special could only be done as a result of magic. .
Witchcraft effected St. Thomas Aquinas because one of his duties was that he was supposed to deal with the problem of witchcraft. He dealt with problems caused by evilness, and demons within human life.