In and around Salem – the cultural and legal aspects of witch and wizard hunting and their trials Cover Image

Wokół Salem: kulturowo-prawny kontekst polowań na czarowników i czarownice oraz ich procesów
In and around Salem – the cultural and legal aspects of witch and wizard hunting and their trials

Author(s): Tomasz Jerzy Brenet
Subject(s): History, Law, Constitution, Jurisprudence, Cultural history, Social history, Modern Age
Published by: Akademia Techniczno-Humanistyczna w Bielsku-Białej
Keywords: United States;witch hunting;witch trials;Salem;witchcraft;

Summary/Abstract: The history of development of various societies and communities contains elements which are both colorful and disquieting, being the result of shared concerns, uncertainty or an attempt at providing an explanation for phenomena which could not be clarified by means of the then level of knowledge or science.One of the phenomena concerned the (alleged) magic and other co-related practices which appeared in folk beliefs as well as in the mainstream of popular culture (this shall concern especially the events occurring in the 16th and 17th centuries in Europe and North America).The objective of this article is to scrutinize the problem of magic in its cultural and legal aspect. By a social analysis of cultural circumstances characterizing the American population of that period, it becomes possible to describe and understand the foundations of behaviors and acts leading in a given community to alienation and death of those suspected of collusions with unclean spirits and sentenced in the name of preserving public security and order or adjusting to the existing social system and binding religious and legal principles.Taking into consideration the fact that in many countries the apparatus of hunting and judging witches and wizards had an institutionalized form, it becomes justifiable to refer to various texts of culture produced on the territory of the United States of America reporting on the cases examined by courts and describing the mechanisms of fighting with individuals devoting to illegal and unacceptable practices.

  • Issue Year: 1/2020
  • Issue No: 34
  • Page Range: 307-320
  • Page Count: 14
  • Language: Polish