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Word Count: 846
In a history class last year I was made aware of a movement from some radical feminist groups that claimed the slaughter of innocent women in the 16th and 17th century witch trials as a parallel to the misogynistic persecution they perceive as an integral part of culture today The use of the inquisition of witches as an analogy for the contemporary subjugation of women is ahistorical due to the evolution of the social dynamics that occurred between the 16th and 20th centuries The political climate of the 16th and 17th centuries was one of great conflict with many opposing forces struggling for control As a patriarchal society women were not allowed into the forefront of politics therefore having no direct voice in judicial and societal matters This made women prime candidates for persecution under a law system completely under the control of males In early modern Europe religion had a much more powerful influence upon the lives of the masses than it holds today Those in the position to receive an education were commonly limited in their endeavors to theological seminary Those of the traditionally uneducated classes first and foremost women were saturated by the theological interpretations of the religiously educated few The moral economy of early modern Europe was forged by the hands of those educated by the church and enforced through a fearful reverence of the wrath of God Ordinary citizens lacking basic literacy were compelled to accept the clergys version of Gospel as The Gospel Today with the advent of public education and higher literacy rates than ever before seen the general public has the opportunity to examine liturgy and form individual theological structures In addition to a more educated populous the religious community has been forced by the modern idea of separation between church and state to vacate its position as ultimate moral arbiter Another facet of this distinction between religious and judicial authority is the transference
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