Demons only virgins can see : Divination with child-mediums as a medieval type of clerical child abuse

Journal article


Barbezat, Michael. (2023). Demons only virgins can see : Divination with child-mediums as a medieval type of clerical child abuse. Journal of Ecclesiastical History. pp. 1-26. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0022046923000581
AuthorsBarbezat, Michael
Abstract

This article examines the use of child-mediums in divination and magic as a specific medieval understanding of child abuse. Medieval authors believed that children were used in this way by learned men, particularly churchmen. They believed the practice was abusive, causing physiological and psychological harm. Many also thought, for different reasons, that it could produce revelations. This topic provided medieval authors with an opportunity to theorise about a specifically clerical form of child abuse, and it is an example of the kind of ritual magic extant in clerics’ own social worlds that fuelled paranoid conspiratorial fantasies, such as witchcraft.

Year2023
JournalJournal of Ecclesiastical History
Journal citationpp. 1-26
PublisherCambridge University Press
ISSN1469-7637
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1017/S0022046923000581
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85170550615
Page range1-26
Publisher's version
License
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Controlled
Output statusIn press
Publication dates
Online15 Aug 2023
Publication process dates
Deposited16 Nov 2023
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