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23 January, 08:01

Why were witchcraft accusations directed primarily at old women, especially widows, during the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries? Select one:

a. There was hostility to women who appeared to be challenging their traditional subordinate status.

b. In looking for scapegoats for events that were not explicable, society usually chose those on its margins.

c. It was believed that women were so lustful that the devil could make them his slaves.

d. Elderly widows were resented by their neighbors as burdens.

e. All these answers are correct.

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  1. 23 January, 10:59
    Answer: E. All these answers are correct

    Explanation: The aforementioned period of the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries is a time of great theological controversy and the struggles between the Catholic Church and Protestantism. Of course there were other consequential occurrences in the Protestantism account that the Catholic Church looked to place in one of the heresies and considered them to be against the word of God. During that period, many, where the Catholic Church and its followers were dominant, were burned as heretics. In addition to heresy, great opponents and decadents of the Church were scholars who opposed the Church's "scientific" dogma and propagated a different foundation of scientific theory, such as Galileo. In addition to this, the direct enemies of the Church were those who were "demon-obsessed" and mostly women who were engaged in witchcraft. During this period, the Church's interest grew when the fight against demonology was at stake.

    Of course, the Church condemned every challenge of the traditional hierarchy in the family and society, and so the first option when it comes to the position of a woman who is engaged in something completely different from traditional affairs, which in a way directly challenges and questions the authenticity of the Church's teaching.

    Such a traditional society, and not only that, today is the case, will always blame and sacrifice someone from the margins for undesirable occurrences and events, meeting general social needs so that the "culprit" is found and punished and all others "eligible" continue to live their, from the Church, accepted lifestyles.

    The third option is related to the teaching of the Church, that is, the interpretation of the Bible that sin came into this world through a woman, and that all lust and weakness for sin came from a woman, and thus her subordinate position in society during that period was determined. Of course, it's about interpreting the first sin of the Bible when Eve obeyed the serpent and took the forbidden fruit. In this way, the first sin is transmitted to all women, and they are easily submissive to the devil and easily become his servants if they break away from the traditional teachings of the Church.
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