Witches, Saints, and Heretics: Heinrich Kramer’s Ties with Italian Women Mystics: Heinrich Kramer’s Ties with Italian Women Mystics
Herzig, Tamar (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
Magic, Ritual, and Witchcraft, Volume 1, Number 1, Summer (2006)
In the late Middle Ages, mystical sainthood was often defined as antithetical to diabolic witchcraft. Whereas the saintly female mystic was revered as an emblem of piety, her mirror-image, the witch, was believed to be the embodiment of evil, who deliberately inverted orthodox religion by engaging in diabolic rites. Historians exploring the relationship between the category of ‘‘saint’’ and that of ‘‘witch’’ have pointed to the very fine line that usually separated the two in the premodern era.