Mascot for #DevilDiss

Mascot for #DevilDiss
Mascot for #DevilDiss

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Slut shaming and the Devil: Placing Medieval Women on the Virgin/Whore Continuum (final)

The Nephilim were in the earth in those days, and also after that, when God's sons came in to men's daughters. They bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.
Genesis 6:4

Slut shaming and the Devil: Placing Medieval Women on the Virgin/Whore Continuum
In the past few years, use of the term “slut-shaming” has become endemic.  Defined as “phenomenon in which people degrade or mock a woman because she enjoys having sex, has sex a lot, or may even just be rumored to participate in sexual activity” (Urban Dictionary), the term has been used by Rush Limbaugh, calling Sandra Fluke a “slut” because she spoke to a Democratic hearing on the importance of birth control coverage and to describe Miley Cyrus’ performance at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards. The tactic of characterizing women who speak out, or do not perform as the majority wishes, as whores, is not a new one. During the medieval period, women were often cast as either a virgin or a whore, if you weren’t one, you were the other. In this binary the character of the devil was often used to identify women as “Other” and as a signifier of a person’s morality, or character. His relationship to women in medieval writings is often shown as a binary- women who interacted with him were either virgins in the form of holy saints and the Virgin Mary who defeated him, or were possessed, heretics, or witches. This Virgin/Whore dichotomy represents not only a way  in which women were reduced to roles, but also reveals how the devil was used in argument (Boyarin). While scholarship has placed medieval women in this dichotomy, I argue that a more accurate description would be a continuum, as the dichotomy neglects to engage with the issues of how heresy came to be associated with, and transformed into the witchcraft craze of the late medieval/early modern period. I also believe that the dichotomy neglects to engage with how the figure of the devil was used to place women on this continuum, often through issues of sexuality. The use of the devil to place women on this continuum shows the transformation of the devil in the medieval period from the ephemeral representation of evil to an actual, physical threat.

            Scholarship has examined individual pieces of this issue, without examining how the parts work together as a whole. The issues of possession, exorcism, misogyny, and characterization of women as “Other” or lesser all work together to place women on this continuum. The figure of the devil, specifically sexual acts with the devil, often determine where women are places on this continuum. Whether or not the woman falls to the temptation of sex determines where she falls, but the devil and sex is the marker by which women are defined.
Aquinas’ work[1], particularly his view on women, influenced Church fathers, and the viewpoint that women were more susceptible to the evils of the devil. One concept was that women were more susceptible to “illusions, hallucinations and dreaming” (Dubruck 181). Aquinas wrote that the world was full of evil and dangerous demons. “Among other things, Aquinas argued, these demons had the habit of reaping the sperm of men and spreading it among women. In Aquinas's mind, sex and witchcraft begin what will become a long association” (Moulton). The characterization of women as weaker, more vulnerable to temptation and as a physical vessel for the devil’s work becomes the template for heresy and later witchcraft in the medieval period[2] (Russell, Witchcraft 145).
Possession narratives are an excellent example of how women were placed on this continuum as well as illustrating the shift from heresy to witchcraft. Possession characterized as a form of female hysteria, implying a weakness of character was used to discredit women, or characterize them as heretics and later witches. Possession narratives were often reshaped by the Church into morality tales, used as “didactic tool to encourage good Christians to avoid sin and despair” (Butler 142). Whether the woman in the narrative was a willing or unwilling participant in the events, by her association with the devil, determined if she was characterized as “Other”, a whore, rather than a holy prophetess, virgin (Russell, Lucifer 275).
Holy women who experienced visions were viewed in contrast to women who suffered from possession/exorcism[3] (Ferber 576).  Common women who suffered from possession were considered to be tormented by a demon or witch or to suffer from the possession as a result of a pact with a demon. Those called in to deal with possession could also be placed on a continuum with male magicians on one end, and priests on the other. Throughout the medieval period male magicians went from authorities who had the necessary knowledge to defeat evil to priests who were often accused of having “caused the possession through witchcraft” (581). During the late medieval period, how the possessed were viewed also changed, with the decision resting more and more in the hands of Church authorities and the accused as part of the Church’s agenda. Ferber argues that these possession/witch trials often reflected struggles within the Church itself. One of the things that appeared out of these trials was the resemblance between someone who was possessed and someone who was considered a saint. These holy saints are placed in opposition to the demoniac. The symptoms were often the same- fainting, hearing voices, having visions. This implies that the judgment on who was a demoniac or a saint lay in authority, and that this decision was capricious or had a polemic use.
If the person in question became a threat- to the Church, or another authority, branding as a heretic was a way to “Other” them. McGinn uses examples of Molinos, Marguerite Porete, and Meister Eckhart to make this case, using them to clarify why tension existed between “institutional religion and mystical piety” (200). He suggests that the conflict existed in part because mysticism was a threat to the authority of the Church, if people could claim a personal relationship with God, then there was less of a need for the Church as intermediary. However, he also argues that this solution, while popular with historians and theologians, is problematic, as many Church fathers were considered mystics. It becomes a problem of nuance, if the mystic communicated using the “language and symbols of the tradition” (201) then it was easier for the Church fathers to accept them, placing them on the virgin side of the scale. If however, the mystic countered the accepted language and symbols, or even the Church fathers themselves, it was easy for authority to identify the person as “Other” and heretic, arguing that they were protecting church authority. Denike argues that the church “was struggling for exclusive jurisdiction over the ‘heresy’ and ‘treason’ of witchcraft” (12). This further tension recalls the earlier conflict between magicians as exorcists and the Church[4], changes that led to the institutional pursuit of heresy, and without which, the tension would have resolved itself in potentially very different ways. Throughout the medieval period the difference between heresy and witchcraft collapse, gesturing towards the end of the medieval period where heresy and witchcraft become synonymous.
It was this institutionalization of heresy along with the publication of Malleus maleficarum [5] , that treated witchcraft as a real threat and led to the collapsing of heresy and witchcraft. It was possible for almost anyone to identify, and then persecute witches. Witch hunting “was ecumenical: it united Catholics and Lutherans, Puritans and Anglicans, as no other purpose ever would” (Stephens 495). Therefore, the virgin/whore continuum became a purposeful construction by authorities, a cultural production of the time. Placement on the continuum depended on the types of visions (visual encounters were privileged over auditory), who featured in these visions (God was privileged over saints), and the orthodoxy of the statement as well as the person experiencing the visions/encounters could be perceived as a threat to the Church. According to Russell, medieval heresy grew from the mid 11th century due to “growing political stability, widening literacy, the growth of centers of learning in the cities, and the exchange of ideas through commercial intercourse” (Lucifer 184).
Specific works examined as case studies illustrate how this continuum can be seen in writings of the time. Julian of Norwich (1342-1416) falls on the virgin side of the continuum. Her Shewings illustrate a belief in God’s mercy, suffering as a way of life, universal salvation, and the pain of sin as a reminder of Christ’s passion. While she suffers at the hands of the devil, her faith enables her to survive his physical torments and resist his temptations. Despite some of her unorthodox views, church authorities did not challenge her (moving her along the continuum) because of her status as an anchoress.
As the name implies, a woman who was an anchoress was anchored to the church, and the larger world, not necessarily a nun or religious. It was a life of meditation and prayer. Julian was considered a practitioner of “affective spirituality” where the faithful sought to communicate personally and privately with God, outside of the liturgy, while also focused on the Mass and Divine Office (Tinsley 207).  Day to day life was focused on the Church, the Mass, and other residents of the church, as represented by the three windows of her cell, which would have looked out on each of these things. Interaction with the general public was not a daily event, although an anchoress would have visitors, seeking spiritual guidance of enlightenment, as we see with Margery Kempe’s visit to Julian of Norwich where she identifies Julian as an “expert in such things and good counsel could give” (Staley 32). Margery’s telling of this encounter privileges Margery’s own visions and authority, borrowing on Julian’s authority, but ends with Julian giving Margery her blessing on her future encounters and travels.
Julian’s Shewings outline her spiritual journey and her Fifth Revelation is devoted entirely to the devil[6]. In the Fifth Revelation, and the Sixteenth Revelation she describes a devil that is fitting with medieval diabology; her belief is rooted in Scripture and is orthodox, another reason for her placement on the continuum (Tinsley 209). The devil is shown as a tempter, who ultimately cannot succeed in the face of the faithful. As Tinsley notes, her Sixteenth Revelation is reminiscent of Gregory the Great’s writings where faith and the world is a “battleground in which we, as soldiers of Christ, stand continually in the front lines” (Russell, Witchcraft 100). Despite her ultimate conclusion that the devil cannot defeat God, Jesus Christ, or the Holy Spirit, she is aware of the spiritual dangers she experienced.
Julian’s belief that the devil cannot ultimately succeed is evident in the Fifth Revelation:
In this shewid our Lord that the passion of Him is the overcomming of the fend. God shewid that the fend hath now the same malice that he had aforn the incarnation. And as sore he travilith and as continually he seeth that all sent of salvation ascappyn him worshipply be the vertue of Cristes pretious passion. And that is his sorow and ful evyl he is attemyd, for all that God sufferith him to doe turnith us to joye and him to shame and wo. And he hath as mech sorow when God givith him leave to werkyn as when he werkyth not. And that is for he may
never doe as yvel as he would, for his migte is al tokyn in Godds hand
(lines 502-510)
In this showing our Lord that the passion of Him is the overcoming of the fiend. God showed that the fiend has now the same malice that he had before the incarnation. And as sore he travels and as continually he sees that all sent of salvation escape him worship is the virtue of Christ’s precious passion. And that is his sorrow and full of evil his is attempted, for all that God suffers him to do turns us to joy and him to shame and woe. And he has as much sorrow when God gives him leave to work and when he cannot work. And that is for he may never do as evil as he would, for his might is all taken into God’s hand.
(translation)
This belief was in line with other mystical thinkers, that “The Devil can have no ultimate significance in the cosmos” (Russell Lucifer 290). Julian’s devil is characterized as full of malice as he had before his fall (presumably what caused his fall) but also because he is denied the salvation (“salvation ascappyn him”) that true worshippers of Christ are assured. The devil is also shown as full of sorrow because of this, and full of evil (attempted) pointing towards his role of tempter. However, according to Julian, the devil’s power is limited by God, “And he hath as mech sorow when God givith him leave to werkyn as when he werkyth not” (And he has as much sorrow when God gives him leave to work as when he cannot work). This implies that while the devil can work certain evils, he has boundaries set by God which he cannot cross. Julian goes on to state that the devil “never doe as yvel as he would, for his mighte is al tokyn in Godds hand” (never does evil as he would, for his might is all taken in God’s hand). These lines appear to contain a contradiction; if the devil can only work within the boundaries set by God[7], does that mean that the suffering he causes is God’s will? This contradiction is also seen in the following lines[8]:
For our gode Lord endlesly hath regarde to His owne worshippe and to the profite of al that shall be savid. With might and ryht He withstondith the reprovid, the which of mallice and shrewidnes bysyen hem to contriven and to done agens Gods wille. Also I saw our Lord scorne his malice and nowten his onmigte, and He wil that we doe so.
(lines 512-515)
For our good Lord endlessly has regard for his own worship and to the profit of all that shall be saved. With might and right He withstands the reproved, the which of malice and shrewidness that causes him to contrive and do against God’s will. Also I saw our Lord scorn his malice and disregard his might and He will that we do so.
(translation)
Julian supplies no direct answer, only concluding that faith, and refusing to sin is the way to salvation, and the way to defeat the devil.
As Camille notes, “Evil was not an idea to medieval people. It was Real and had bodies. These bodies were devils” (63). This is evident from Julian’s description of the physical body of the devil that torments her in the Sixteenth Revelation:
And in the slepe at the begynnyng, methowte the fend set him in my throte puttand forth a visage ful nere my face like a yong man, and it was longe and wonder lene. I saw never none such. The color was rede like the tilestone whan it is new brent, with blak spots therin like blak steknes fouler than the tile stone. His here was rode as rust evisid aforn with syde lokks hongyng on the thounys. He grynnid on me with a shrewd semelant, shewing white teeth, and so mekil methowte it the more oggley. Body ne honds had he none shaply, but with his pawes he held me in the throte and wold have stranglid me, but he myte not.
(lines 2769-2777)
And in the sleep at the beginning, I thought the fiend set him in my throat and put forth a vision near my face like that of a young man, and it was long and wonderful. I never saw such a thing. The color was red like the tile stone when it is brand new, with black spots within in like black speckles fouler than the tile stone. His hair was red as rust seen before with side locks hanging on the sides. He grinned at me with a shrewd look, showing white teeth so great I though it the more ugly. His hands and body were not shapely, but with his paws he held me in the throat and would have strangled me, but he might not.
(translation)
The devil is red in color, with black spots, long hair, who grins at her, and tries to strangle her with his paws. While it seems like a contradiction to a modern reader, for Julian, “the Devil and suffering are real but evil is not” (Tinsley 213). Facing off against the devil, battling him as Gregory argued, presents a real, physical danger, he is corporeal, and can therefore harm her. Julian suffers fear, and some physical discomfort, but the devil is unable to ultimately harm her because of her faith, as evidenced from the use of “wold” and “myte not”.
And I was answered in my reason: Helle is another payne, for there is despeyr. But of al paynes that leden to salvation, this is the most payne: to se thy love suffir. How might any payne be more to me than to se Him that is al my life, al my blisse, and al my joy suffren? Here felt I sothfastly that I lovyd Criste so mech above myselfe that there was no payne that might be suffrid leke to that
sorow that I had to se Him in payne.
(lines 660-665)
And I was answered in my reason: Hell is another pain for there is despair. But of all the pain(s) that lead to salvation, this is the most pain: to see your love suffer. How might any pain be more to me thatn to see Him that is all my life, all my bliss, and all my joy suffer? Here I felt truly that I loved Christ so much above myself that there was no pain that might be suffered like that sorrow that I had to see Him in pain.
(translation)
Julian also distinguishes between the different types of pain and suffering. She suffers at the hands of the devil, but it is not the pain of being separated from God and Christ. That pain comes from despair, and lack of faith. Here, Julian links pain to salvation and compares her suffering to the suffering Christ endured during the passion. She also states that there is no pain she could suffer that would compare to seeing Christ in pain (when his worshippers don’t follow his teachings).
Despite Julian’s statement that she is willing to endure pain and suffering, a possible end result of this encounter with the devil is possession, a fear that her medieval audience would have been aware[9]. Possession stories were common, often featured in stories of saints, Church mystics, or holy prophetesses. During the medieval period, both magicians, and religious orders were known to deal with cases of possession. These men were not yet associated with the devil (that comes during the late medieval period) but were considered the only ones qualified to deal with possession (Ferber). Other writings of spiritual journeys, such as Christina von Stommeln (1242-1312) and Ermine de Reims (1347-1396) described the physical torment of demons. Christina had the devil appear and then gut her, resulting in six months of bleeding (Tinsley 218) while Ermine suffered beatings, and physical tricks at the hands of the devil (Campagne 471). Ermine experiences Satan both as a physical body, and as a spirit. Ermine’s spirits are there to torture, and tempt her. The demons state that they are there because God said they “were allowed to cause you whatever harm”. This echoes Julian’s belief that the devil works within God’s boundaries. In many ways, Ermine’s biography foreshadows several tropes of devil stories such as the deal with the devil, flights through the night air, and demons taking human form. While Ermine’s narrative places her on the side of holy prophetess, neighbors suspected her of being allied with the devil. In all three cases, the devil is a physical obstacle that must be overcome by the faithful in order to earn salvation. However, as all of these women illustrate, earning salvation often means paying the price of years of physical torment.
            In addition to the physical threat the devil represents, he also represents a threat to the immortal soul, in his role as tempter. “I said, "Blissid be God"; for that wist I wele it was the fend that was comen to tempest me” (Shewings lines 2785-6)(I said “Blessed be God; for that wished I well it was the fiend that had come to tempt me)[10]. At the conclusion of the Sixteenth Revelation, Julian warns that the devil uses man’s own folly against him:
“Than is it our enemy that will putt us on bakke with his false drede of our writchidnes, for peyne that he threatith us by, for it is his menyng to make us so hevy and so wery in this that we shuld lettyn out of mende the fair, blisfull beholdyng of our everlasting freind”.
(lines 3133-3136)
Then it is out enemy that will put us back with his false dread of our wretchedness, for pain that he threatened us with, for it is his meaning to make us so heavy and so weary in this that we should let out of mind the fair, blissful beholding of our everlasting friend[11]
(translation)
The devil uses the tools of dread, wretchedness, and threat of pain to try and turn men from their faith. “It is his meaning to make us so heavy and weary in this that we should let out of mind the fair, blissful beholding of our everlasting friend”. The devil was thought to target mystics, attempting to interfere with their attempts to connect more deeply with God as the devil was envious of this closer connection with God (Russell, Lucifer 290). By creating despair in their hearts, the devil hopes to make men forget the bliss of Christ’s passion that Julian experiences in the beginning of the Shewing.
Julian believes that physical suffering is the result of sin, but has no doubt that faith will see the devil defeated, returning to the thought presented at the beginning of Shewings,Herewith is the fend overcome” (line 501). Julian “attributes the success of her fight against the devil to her ability to stay free of sin” (Tinsley 224). In the end, Julian’s diabology is an “impotent, suffering devil” (Tinsley 227-228). Her faith ensures that he has no power.
            The devil is used in Julian’s Shewings as a lesson; he is proof that people of faith have nothing to fear in the end from him. While he is capable of causing suffering, he will ultimately fail in his quest to tempt those with faith away from God. In the early medieval period, the use of the devil as didactic example was common as was the use of women to illustrate these lessons. Women were held up as examples of virtue in the role of holy women who experienced visions from God, and in the figure of Mary who was often shown to intercede with men who had made pacts with the devil, ultimately defeating the devil.
            Not all women who interacted with the devil were privileged as Church mystics or holy prophetesses and the difference had to do with sex. While holy women were physically tormented by the devil, tortured, beaten or otherwise suffering physical pain, women who had other physical associations i.e sexual, were considered heretics or whores[12]. The encounters with the devil of figures such as Julian, Christiana, Ermine, and Margery were treated as holy battles in large part due to their perceived purity and holiness, if not pure virginity. The Canon Episcopi[13]  describes wicked women as “perverted by the devil”, “seduced by illusions and phantasms of demons” and describes Satan as an angel of light who mesmerizes a weak woman, and causes hallucinations (Russell, Witchcraft 76-77)[14]. The Canon Episcopi  is reproduced and glossed by canon lawyers and theologians from the 11th-14th centuries, forming a clear connection between “heretics and servants of the Devil” (79) as well as linking sexual acts or fertility rites with the devil ( 80) which “drew upon the old tradition of the fallen angels lusting after the daughters of men” (115). Charges against heretics often included participating in sex orgies[15] (86), as well as worshipping Satanel, “a son of God who fell from heaven”[16] (93). Women accused of associating with the devil were often accused of making a pact with him, as Russell argues, wedding heresy and witchcraft (83)[17]. This pact was often seen as having a physical, sexual component. Testimony of a woman participating in sexual congress was seen as evidence of this pact, thus proving heresy. The women having sex with the devil also implied possession by him[18], and this was seen in trial transcripts where the women stated that  “it was sex with the Devil which many accused witches talked about at length, rather than the pact” (Roper 84). This continued through the late medieval and early modern period, where women often testified to their sexual acts with the devil. As Roper argues, “Sex with the devil was at once an axiom of demonological theory and a genuinely popular story with roots in local culture, everyday life and fairy tale” (83).
            William of Malmesbury describes an encounter with the sorceress of Berkeley[19], who is identified as “lascivious” and describes her “debaucheries”, sex is used as an identifier as much as her acts of sorcery. She is accused of practicing “demonic arts” and “evil spirits” as well as encouraging “the devil’s violence” against others. She tells her story to her children, a monk, and a nun, stating that she has fallen to “every vice” and been “lured to sin”.  The emphasis is on the physical/sexual nature of her interaction. Even her death is not enough to break the bond she has made with the devil, as after she is buried, devils break into the church, call the woman by name, and ride off with her on a black horse (Kors and Peters 71-72). Nothing else is known of the woman except for her evil acts, precipitated by her “vice” and “sin”. While not specifically mentioned, a pact can be inferred, as the devils retrieving her at the end against her will indicates a debt still unpaid. Her physical sin, as well as her pact, both signs of heresy, places her on the whore side of the continuum.
            The devil in the role of tempter, was also closely associated with sex, as can be seen in Jacobus de Voragine’s writing “The Life of St. Justina” from The Golden Legend (1270) in which he relates the story of Cyprian, a magician who falls in love with Justina, a virgin who rebuffs him. He invokes a demon and asks “Can you make it possible for me to have her and work my will with her?” (Kors and Peters 83). The demon first attempts to create lust in Justina, but is defeated when she covers her body with the sign of the cross. In his next attempt, he disguises himself as a young woman, and tries to convince Justina by quoting Scripture, that God wants people to “increase and multiply”. Justina is almost convinced, but at the last minute has doubts and again signs herself with the cross and the demon is banished. In the third encounter, the devil transforms himself into a handsome man and comes into Justina’s bedroom where he jumps on her bed and attempts to have sex with her, but again she makes the sign of the cross and he is defeated. Unable to tempt Justina, the demon causes Justina to be ill, and many people and livestock to die, however, Justina refuses to give in and after seven years, her prayers drive away the plague. In a last effort, the demon disguises himself as Justina, and goes to Cyprian to give himself to him. However when Cyprian calls the demon Justina, he vanishes. Cyprian renounces the demon, goes to the bishop, stating that he now knows the power of Christ cannot be defeated, he is baptized, and eventually ordained as a bishop, making Justina an abbess (Kors and Peters 83-86). While Justina would seem to fall more on the side of Julian of Norwich in that she defeats the devil, the fact that her temptation relies on the demon seducing her reinforces that women who sexually interact with the devil are seen as whores, heretics, and witches. It is Justina’s refusal to physically interact with the devil that places her on the virgin side of the continuum.
            Martin Le Franc, in The Defender of Ladies (1440) specifically links the character of women with a discussion of witchcraft between the Adversary (of women) and the Defender (of women). The Adversary makes his case by describing the “whorishness” of women, citing the fact that they kiss the devil, and during sabbats engage in sexual relations with the devil. This behavior is associated with the dancing, and drinking that they also participate in. The devil is also described as shapeshifting into a man and having “his lustful way” with a woman, a coupling that is described as a horror and a sin. The Adversary also states that “Lucifer and the rebel angels fell” and now tempt ordinary people, converting women to his service, and not giving up until “she submits to him” (Kors and Peters 168-169). The Defender and Free Will say that no woman would be “stupid” enough to fall for such tricks. Almost all of the Adversary’s argument depends on the description of the physical relationship these women have with the devil. This argument, as well as Aquinas’ both have their basis in Genesis, where the Nephilim, the offspring of angels and women were considered abominations because they represented angels (sometimes interpreted as fallen angels i.e demons) having sex with women.
The figure of the devil has often been mentioned in scholarship of witchcraft, but as a secondary figure. In discussions of witchcraft, the focus has been on the role of women, and how they were “Othered” or denied power. In discussion of holy prophetesses, the focus is often on how their visions countered Church authority or how they borrowed authority. Feminist theory is often the lens used with these works. Russell’s work does much to define and characterize how the devil appeared during the medieval period. However, I believe that each of these approaches neglects to take into consideration how these issues function as a whole. Women were placed on this continuum based on whether or not it could be argued that they were heretics. Holy women who experienced visions, if their visions were considered orthodox and/or if they claimed God’s authority were places on one end of the continuum. Women who made pacts with the devil, trading sexual acts for power or knowledge were seen as heretics and their “whorishness” placed them on the other end of the continuum. Women who suffered from possession could be placed anywhere along the continuum depending on whether authorities ultimately identified them as victim or perpetrator. In the early medieval period the link between demons and magic was made, condemning “most non-Christian ritual” placing emphasis on the demon and not the magician. However, by the 13th and 14th centuries, the focus shifts to the human practitioner. By the 14th and 15th centuries, the boundaries between heresy and sorcery and witchcraft collapse and focus on women “seen mainly as a tool between demons and the devil” (Bailey From Sorcery 989). Examining medieval women through this lens allows not only a more complete picture of how they were defined and characterized, but also underscores how fluid these definitions were during the medieval period. It is this fluidity that gestures towards the arbitrary nature of witchcraft accusations as well as the porousness of the definition of heresy as it is transformed into witchcraft in the late medieval/early modern period.
           




Works Cited
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Yates, Clinton. “Miley Cyrus and the issues of slut-shaming and racial condescension”[21]. Washington Post. 26 August 2013. Web. 20 October 2013.


[1] Summa Theologian 1273
[2] In the early modern period, this also allows women to claim that they were the victim, presenting intercourse with teh devil as a seduction and something they were incapable of resisting (Roper 96).
[3] Ferber’s work focuses more on the later medieval/early modern period from 1430 onwards
[4] McGinn uses the examples of  Gnostics, Messalianism, to support his case. However, he also states that the tension between the Church and mysticism were affected by the fact that the Church was undergoing great changes around 1300 (209)
[5] translation "Hammer of [the] Witches" a handbook for identifying and persecuting witches, written in 1486 by Heinrich Kramer
[6] as Jeffrey Burton Russell notes in Witchcraft in the Middle Ages, during the medieval period, the term devil, Devil, and demon were used interchangeably, all referring to what later becomes named the character of Satan
[7] See the role of the Adversary in Job
[8] See Anselm’s The Fall of the Devil  that argues that God gave Lucifer free will which was not evil but what he chose to do with it was. God “wills only the good and he merely permits the evil” (Russell, Lucifer 165).
[9] Russell, quoting HIlton, notes that the Devil was also a threat because he was capable of creating false visions or knowledge, targeting mystics or holy people, “making him think that he is experiencing God, when it is really the Evil One playing upon his soul” (Lucifer 291).
[10] In hagiography there is a “gendered formula that women, if lay, were Jezebels who tempt men or if religious, are virgins who deflect male desire” (Blanton 102).
[11] Christ
[12] Heinrick Kramer, the author of Malleus  linked witchcraft to “uncontrolled female sexulity, famously concluding that all witchcraft comes from carnal lust, which in women is insatiable” (Bailey, Feminization  120).
[13] early 10th century
[14] See also The Formicarius, written 1435-1437 by Johannes Nider, the first clerical authority to discuss female witches in terms of gender, which states that women had a “proclivity for witchcraft” because they were inherently weaker and therefore more susceptible to “the temptations of the devil” (Bailey Feminization  122).
[15] 1018-1028 group of heretics in Aquitaine
[16] 1050 Micahel Psellos’ accusations against the Euchites, Messalians
[17] From 1140-1230, Russell states that heresy, not sorcery is what shapes the obsession that forms the witchcraft craze of the late medieval/early modern time period (Lucifer 120). Bernard Gui also observed in 1320 that “Witchcraft implies pact, and pact implies heresy, which is under the jurisdiction of the inquisition” (Russell, Lucifer 299).
[18] Roper goes on to argue that “The theme of sexual ownership found its most complete and terrifying expression in the idea that women might be visited by their demons even while they were in prison, and might engage in intercourse with them” (94).
[19] ca. 1140
[20] The title listed here is as written, not capitalized
[21]  The title listed here is as written, not capitalized