Kineckhefer's Analysis Of'superstition '

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the common eye was the distinction of malicious witchcraft, however: any magics that involved the devil’s work or diabolical action was completely heretical. Bailey takes the broader stance and supports the view that ‘superstition’ was a flexible idea manipulated by religious authority, writing:
“[Superstition] was, in fact, among the most versatile, broadly applicable terms that Christian authorities used to establish boundaries between licit and illicit action…”
Since the ‘Christian authorities’ could therefore judge what was heretical and what was not, it seems clear to look to the clergy for a consensus – however, this is not the case that Bailey puts forward. He uses the example of a woman in the German Rhineland who sook a ‘questionable blessing’ for her son who injured his finger. The local clergy opposed this ritual when she asked for permission: yet, after travelling to the nearby Landau, she met a clergymen who held no qualms performing the ritual . Despite the
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Kieckhefer would support this view, claiming “Only the theologically and philosophically sophisticated elite bothered greatly about questions of definition ” and that the commons took the definitions of witchcraft “for granted ”. (We must remember that Bailey does not think contemporaries took definitions ‘for granted’; he simply fails to properly accommodate for them)

To gain a better insight into the common views of what witchcraft was, we must look into the ideological tendencies of medieval contemporaries in general. One viewpoint that allows this analysis is the oppositionalist approach, which claims that simplistic ideas of right and wrong lead the less educated majority to define witches as generally the opposite of what is holy. Using such a
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