The Serpent In The Garden by Jennifer Goff
|Title||The Serpent in the Garden|
|Language||English, Spanish, and French|
The early-modern period was a time of political, social, religious, and philosophicaltransitions. This thesis seeks to explore early-modern witchcraft within the framework of thesetransitions, using ecclesiastical treatises, contemporary art, witch trial transcripts, and literarydepictions of witchcraft to ascertain the changing role of the devil in the early-modernconceptualization of witchcraft. At the beginning of this period, the devil was a ubiquitous andconcrete presence in virtually all early-modern witchcraft discourse, whether textual or visual. As the period evolves, textual and visual representations develop nuances that reflect thechanging philosophical and religious discourses. By the end of this period, texts and art indicatea spectrum of beliefs about the devil's role in witchcraft, from the concrete and dominantpresence he had at the beginning of this period, through a middle-ground of equality with thewitch in her/his apostasy, through to a growing disbelief in his corporeal existence or influenceon human behavior. The images of the devil and witch during this period remain the dominantimages of the devil and witch into and throughout the modern period.