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During the Midieval era witchcraft became a popular form of rebellion against Church and state which was interpreted as heresy However witchcraft was not the only kind of rejection of institutional structure Russell descibes this happening as the rise of mystisim of the flagellents of the dance cult and the expansion of popular heresy occurring at the same time as the rapid growth of the witch phenomenon Russell 272 Because witchcraft appeared to be devil worship directly contradicting the teachings of the Catholic Church it was taboo Christina Hole author of Witchcraft in England maintains Russells perspective by saying that throughout the Middle Ages heretical sects were constantly springing up and running like bush-fires through different parts of Europe Hole 23 Like Russell Hole demonstrates the reality that witchcraft was not the only group of dissidents during this time in Europe It is logical to conclude that all of these groups that sprung up were rejections of an institutional structure because they all had their origins in those areas in Europe where social and economic change was most pronounced Russell 272 The idea that witchcraft was indeed heresy and devil worship is on account of the devout believing all deviations from Catholisism were abominable and the clear work of the devil heresy for them was pride of fallible human judgment for the truths of religion Hole 26 Overzealous Catholics were blinded by their faith failing to recognize that the reason witchcraft sprung up was because of motives other than rejecting God bu rejection of society Unfortunatly this led to the persecution of many without valid rationale In the Middle Ages theoriticians introduced the idea of Malleus Maleficarum in order to explain the occurrence of the popularity of witchcraft In the very title of the Malleus Maleficarum the gender of witches is feminine It assigns women as the source of witchcraft because of a number of reasons stating that women were in every ay morally and
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