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Medieval History

2020

Christianity

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Pope Innocent Viii (1484-1492) And The Summis Desiderantes Affectibus, Maral Deyrmenjian Jan 2020

Pope Innocent Viii (1484-1492) And The Summis Desiderantes Affectibus, Maral Deyrmenjian

Malleus Maleficarum

The papal bull (or decree) Summis desiderantes affectibus, issued in 1484 by Pope Innocent VIII (1484-1492), specifically addressed the malign presence of witches and witchcraft in the Holy Roman Empire and authorized a formal inquisition into their activities. It was one of several official condemnations of heretics and other enemies of Christendom, both groups and individuals, issued during Innocent VII’s reign.

Heinrich Kramer, the primary author of the Malleus maleficarum (1486/7) prefaced the second edition of his witch-hunting manual with the Summis desiderantes affectibus without explicit permission; scholars argue that he considered it likely to bolster the work ...