Show Summary Details
Page of

date: 20 June 2021

p. 132. Heresylocked

p. 132. Heresylocked

  • Malcolm Gaskill


According to ‘Heresy’, historically, political and religious orthodoxy went together. Romans saw witches as ruthless criminals. The early Christian church expressed hostility to magic but was actually tolerant. Between the 6th and 9th centuries, reformers worked to absorb paganism, infusing old beliefs and rites with new meanings. Uniformity remained a political ideal. Heresy became the label orthodox Christians attached to dangerous beliefs: a good Christian was also a good citizen. This idea was refined by Protestant and Catholic states during the Reformation, but proved hard to enforce. The Malleus Maleficarum established witches as lewd criminals, usually female, to be hounded to death in the secular courts, suspending laws if necessary.

Access to the complete content on Very Short Introductions online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.