Malleus Maleficarum

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9781329719965: Malleus Maleficarum
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The Malleus Maleficarum is probably one of the most notorious books of Catholic Church history. Originally put out when the Inquisition was in full force, this book and the text it contains condemned thousands of innocent people to needless deaths. Most of what today's society and culture thinks of the witches and the occult comes from these pages. Although this text is largely misguided and inaccurate from even a scriptural standpoint, the fact remains that it has molded our views on those who practice occult arts in many ways. Take a look into the past!

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Heinrich Kramer ( 1430-1505) also known under the Latinized name Henricus Institoris,was a German churchman and inquisitor. Born in SÚlestat, Alsace, he joined the Dominican Order at an early age and while still a young man was appointed Prior of the Dominican house of his native town. At some date before 1474 he was appointed Inquisitor for the Tyrol, Salzburg, Bohemia and Moravia. His eloquence in the pulpit and tireless activity received recognition at Rome and he was the right-hand man of the Archbishop of Salzburg. By the time of the Bull Summis desiderantes of Pope Innocent VIII in 1484 he was already associated with Jacob Sprenger to make an inquisition for witches and sorcerers. In 1485 he drew up a treatise on witchcraft which was incorporated in the Malleus Maleficarum (literally "The hammer of malefactresses (wrongdoing women - i.e. witches)"). Kramer failed in his attempt to obtain endorsement for this work from the top theologians of the Inquisition at the Faculty of Cologne, and they condemned the book as recommending unethical and illegal procedures, as well as being inconsistent with Catholic doctrines of demonology. Kramer's claimed endorsement from four of the professors may have been forged. He was denounced by the Inquisition in 1490. In 1495 he was summoned to Venice to give public lectures, which were very popular. In 1500 he was empowered to proceed against the Waldensians and Picards. He died in Bohemia in 1505.

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