Early Modern Word





Early Modern Word

The relationship characterized between religion, witchcraft trials, and science in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries mainly comprised the inclination of the conservative societies towards reformation. For instance, in “Edict of Nantes”, Henry IV notes this first element of reformation as the inclination towards protestant ideologies. As evidenced, the culmination of the French Wars occurred due to identification of the Protestants as a legally guarded religious minority (Lualdi 27). The edict also illustrates the extent to which religious freedom was restricted in France. Accordingly, Henry IV limits the Protestants from the freedom of expression. Moreover, he coerces them to observe the practices of Catholicism, which was the dominant religion at the time. Evidence of reformation is also established in the society’s tendency towards the discoveries of science. At this time, European societies refused to accept the new findings that were derived from comprehensive studies. The “Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina” by Galileo Galilei addresses the extent to which scientific discoveries were rebuffed by states during this particular period. Indeed, those who supported such discoveries were subject to punishment and banishment from their societies due to non-conformity with conservative standards. In his letter, Galileo illustrates his discontent for the Bible and the manner in which it was used to refute any reformation pertaining to the derivation of new information (Lualdi 32). Lastly, the inclination towards reformation is evidenced in the occurrence of witchcraft trials as illustrated in the trial of Suzanne Gaudry in 1652. With convictions based heavily on the supernatural, numerous women in Europe experienced severe persecution by being brandished as witches. Such hunts normally occurred due to the influences that Catholicism imposed. By rejecting Catholic practices such as lent and baptism, the society immediately cast Gaudry as a witch and subjected her to a trial that would result in her death (Lualdi 40). These illustrations show the aspect of reformation as a common factor in religion, witchcraft trials, and science within the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

Work Cited

Lualdi, Katherine J. Sources of the Making of the West: Peoples and Cultures. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2006. Print.

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