Christianity and violence
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Although the two highest commandments in Christianity are to love God and "love your neighbor as yourself," some institutions and individuals have acted violently and attempted to justify themselves through Christian writings. The relationship between Christianity and violence is a subject of controversy because some have used or interpreted its teachings to justify violence, while others maintain that it only promotes peace, love, and compassion.
Heitman and Hagan identify the Inquisition, Crusades, Wars of Religion and antisemitism as being "among the most notorious examples of Christian violence". To this list, J. Denny Weaver adds, "warrior popes, support for capital punishment, corporal punishment under the guise of 'spare the rod and spoil the child,' justifications of slavery, world-wide colonialism in the name of conversion to Christianity, the systemic violence of women subjected to men."
Miroslav Volf says that Christianity is intrinsically nonviolent, but has suffered from a "confusion of loyalties". He proposes that "rather than the character of the Christian faith itself, a better explanation of why Christian churches are either impotent in the face of violent conflicts or actively participate in them derives from the proclivities of its adherents which are at odds with the character of the Christian faith." He states that "(although) explicitly giving ultimate allegiance to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, many Christians in fact seem to have an overriding commitment to their respective cultures and ethnic groups."
Scholars are divided on whether the text of the Bible itself supports waging of violence.
Ra'anan S. Boustan states that "(v)iolence can be found throughout the pages of the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament." Philip Jenkins describes the Bible as overflowing with "texts of terror".
Among common examples of violence in Christianity, J. Denny Weaver lists "(the) crusades, the multiple blessings of wars, warrior popes, support for capital punishment, corporal punishment under the guise of 'spare the rod and spoil the child,' justifications of slavery, world-wide colonialism in the name of conversion to Christianity, the systemic violence of women subjected to men". In the view of many historians, the Constantinian shift turned Christianity from a persecuted into a persecuting religion.
Miroslav Volf has identified the intervention of a "new creation", as in the Second Coming, as a particular aspect of Christianity that generates violence. Writing about the latter, Volf says: "Beginning at least with Constantine's conversion, the followers of the Crucified have perpetrated gruesome acts of violence under the sign of the cross. Over the centuries, the seasons of Lent and Holy Week were, for the Jews, times of fear and trepidation; Christians have perpetrated some of the worst pogroms as they remembered the crucifixion of Christ, for which they blamed the Jews. Muslims also associate the cross with violence; crusaders' rampages were undertaken under the sign of the cross."
The statement attributed to Jesus "I come not to bring peace, but to bring a sword" has been interpreted by some as a call to arms for Christians. Mark Juergensmeyer argues that "despite its central tenets of love and peace, Christianity—like most traditions—has always had a violent side. The bloody history of the tradition has provided images as disturbing as those provided by Islam or Sikhism, and violent conflict is vividly portrayed in the Bible. This history and these biblical images have provided the raw material for theologically justifying the violence of contemporary Christian groups. For example, attacks on abortion clinics have been viewed not only as assaults on a practice that Christians regard as immoral, but also as skirmishes in a grand confrontation between forces of evil and good that has social and political implications.",:19–20 sometimes referred to as Spiritual warfare.
Historically, according to René Girard, many Christians embraced violence when it became the state religion of Rome: "Beginning with Constantine, Christianity triumphed at the level of the state and soon began to cloak with its authority persecutions similar to those in which the early Christians were victims."
The Biblical account of Joshua and the Battle of Jericho has been used to justify genocidal Holy war, including war waged on one Christian sect by another.:3 Chirot also interprets 1 Samuel 15:1–3 as "the sentiment, so clearly expressed, that because a historical wrong was committed, justice demands genocidal retribution.":7–8 Just war theory, on the other hand, is a doctrine of military ethics of Roman philosophical and Catholic origin studied by moral theologians, ethicists, and international policy makers, that holds that a conflict can and ought to meet the criteria of philosophical, religious or political justice, provided it follows certain conditions.
In 1095, at the Council of Clermont, Pope Urban II declared that some wars could be deemed as not only a bellum iustum ("just war"), but could, in certain cases, rise to the level of a bellum sacrum (holy war). Jill Claster characterizes this as a "remarkable transformation in the ideology of war", shifting the justification of war from being not only "just" but "spiritually beneficial". Thomas Murphy examined the Christian concept of Holy War, asking "how a culture formally dedicated to fulfilling the injunction to 'love thy neighbor as thyself' could move to a point where it sanctioned the use of violence against the alien both outside and inside society". The religious sanctioning of the concept of "holy war" was a turning point in Christian attitudes towards violence; "Pope Gregory VII made the Holy War possible by drastically altering the attitude of the church towards war... Hitherto a knight could obtain remission of sins only by giving up arms, but Urban invited him to gain forgiveness 'in and through the exercise of his martial skills'." A holy war was defined by the Roman Catholic Church as "war that is not only just, but justifying; that is, a war that confers positive spiritual merit on those who fight in it".
In the 12th century, Bernard of Clairvaux wrote: "'The knight of Christ may strike with confidence and die yet more confidently; for he serves Christ when he strikes, and saves himself when he falls.... When he inflicts death, it is to Christ's profit, and when he suffers death, it is his own gain."
In Ulrich Luz's formulation; "After Constantine, the Christians too had a responsibility for war and peace. Already Celsus asked bitterly whether Christians, by aloofness from society, wanted to increase the political power of wild and lawless barbarians. His question constituted a new actuality; from now on, Christians and churches had to choose between the testimony of the gospel, which included renunciation of violence, and responsible participation in political power, which was understood as an act of love toward the world." Augustine's Epistle to Marcellinus (Ep 138) is the most influential example of the "new type of interpretation."
Just war theorists combine both a moral abhorrence towards war with a readiness to accept that war may sometimes be necessary. The criteria of the just war tradition act as an aid to determining whether resorting to arms is morally permissible. Just War theories are attempts "to distinguish between justifiable and unjustifiable uses of organized armed forces"; they attempt "to conceive of how the use of arms might be restrained, made more humane, and ultimately directed towards the aim of establishing lasting peace and justice."
The just war tradition addresses the morality of the use of force in two parts: when it is right to resort to armed force (the concern of jus ad bellum) and what is acceptable in using such force (the concern of jus in bello). In more recent years, a third category — jus post bellum — has been added, which governs the justice of war termination and peace agreements, as well as the prosecution of war criminals.
The concept of justification for war under certain conditions goes back at least to Cicero. However its importance is connected to Christian medieval theory beginning from Augustine of Hippo and Thomas Aquinas. According to Jared Diamond, Saint Augustine played a critical role in delineating Christian thinking about what constitutes a just war, and about how to reconcile Christian teachings of peace with the need for war in certain situations.
Jonathan Riley Smith writes,
The consensus among Christians on the use of violence has changed radically since the crusades were fought. The just war theory prevailing for most of the last two centuries — that violence is an evil which can in certain situations be condoned as the lesser of evils — is relatively young. Although it has inherited some elements (the criteria of legitimate authority, just cause, right intention) from the older war theory that first evolved around a.d. 400, it has rejected two premises that underpinned all medieval just wars, including crusades: first, that violence could be employed on behalf of Christ's intentions for mankind and could even be directly authorized by him; and second, that it was a morally neutral force which drew whatever ethical coloring it had from the intentions of the perpetrators.
W.E. Addis et al. have written that Christianity has always had a place for violence: "There have been sects, notably the Quakers, which have denied altogether the lawfulness of war, partly because they believe it to be prohibited by Christ (Mt. v. 39, etc), partly on humanitarian grounds. On the Scriptural ground they are easily refuted; the case of the soldiers instructed by in their duties by St. John the Baptist, and that of the military men whom Christ and His Apostles loved and familiarly conversed with (Lk 3:14, Acts 10, Mt 8:5), without a word to imply that their calling was unlawful, sufficiently prove the point." 
The Inquisition is a group of institutions within the judicial system of the Catholic Church whose aim was to combat heresy The Spanish Inquisition is often cited in popular literature and history as an example of Catholic intolerance and repression. The total number processed by the Inquisition throughout its history was approximately 150,000; applying the percentages of executions that appeared in the trials of 1560–1700—about 2%—the approximate total would be about 3,000 put to death. Nevertheless, it is likely that the toll was higher, keeping in mind the data provided by Dedieu and García Cárcel for the tribunals of Toledo and Valencia, respectively. It is likely that between 3,000 and 5,000 were executed. About 50 people were executed by the Mexican Inquisition. Included in that total are 29 people executed as "Judaizers" between 1571 and 1700 out of 324 people prosecuted for practicing the Jewish religion.
In the Portuguese Inquisition the major target were those who had converted from Judaism to Catholicism, the Conversos, also known as New Christians or Marranos, who were suspected of secretly practising Judaism. Many of these were originally Spanish Jews, who had left Spain for Portugal. The number of victims is estimated around 40,000. One particular focus of the Spanish and Portuguese inquisitions was the issue of Jewish anusim and Muslim converts to Catholicism, partly because these minority groups were more numerous in Spain and Portugal than in many other parts of Europe, and partly because they were often considered suspect due to the assumption that they had secretly reverted to their previous religions. The Goa Inquisition was the office of the Portuguese Inquisition acting in Portuguese India, and in the rest of the Portuguese Empire in Asia. It was established in 1560, briefly suppressed from 1774–1778, and finally abolished in 1812. Based on the records that survive, H. P. Salomon and Rabbi Isaac S.D. Sassoon state that between the Inquisition's beginning in 1561 and its temporary abolition in 1774, some 16,202 persons were brought to trial by the Inquisition. Of this number, it is known that 57 were sentenced to death and executed, and another 64 were burned in effigy (this sentence was applied to those who had fled or died in prison; in the latter case, the remains were burned in a coffin at the same time as the effigy). Others were subjected to lesser punishments or penance, but the fate of many of those tried by the Inquisition is unknown.
The Roman Inquisition, during the second half of the 16th century, was responsible for prosecuting individuals accused of a wide array of crimes relating to religious doctrine or alternate religious doctrine or alternate religious beliefs. Out of 51,000 — 75,000 cases judged by Inquisition in Italy after 1542 around 1,250 resulted in a death sentence.
The period of witch trials in Early Modern Europe were a widespread moral panic suggesting that malevolent Satanic witches were operating as an organized threat to Christendom during the 15th to 18th centuries. A variety of different punishments were employed for those found guilty of witchcraft, including imprisonment, flogging, fines, or exile. In the Old Testament's Exodus 22:18 it states that "Thou shalt not permit a sorceress to live". Many faced capital punishment for witchcraft in the period, either by being burned at the stake, hanged on the gallows, or beheaded. Similarly, in New England, people convicted of witchcraft were hanged. The scholarly consensus on the total number of executions for witchcraft ranges between 40,000 and 60,000.
The legal basis for some inquisitorial activity came from Pope Innocent IV's papal bull Ad extirpanda of 1252, which explicitly authorized (and defined the appropriate circumstances for) the use of torture by the Inquisition for eliciting confessions from heretics. By 1256 inquisitors were given absolution if they used instruments of torture. "The overwhelming majority of sentences seem to have consisted of penances like wearing a cross sewn on one's clothes, going on pilgrimage, etc." When a suspect was convicted of unrepentant heresy, the inquisitorial tribunal was required by law to hand the person over to the secular authorities for final sentencing, at which point a magistrate would determine the penalty, which was usually burning at the stake although the penalty varied based on local law. The laws were inclusive of proscriptions against certain religious crimes (heresy, etc.), and the punishments included death by burning, although imprisonment for life or banishment would usually be used. Thus the inquisitors generally knew what would be the fate of anyone so remanded, and cannot be considered to have divorced the means of determining guilt from its effects.
Except within the Papal States, the institution of the Inquisition was abolished in the early 19th century, after the Napoleonic Wars in Europe and after the Spanish American wars of independence in the Americas. The institution survived as part of the Roman Curia, but in 1904 was given the new name of "Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office". In 1965 it became the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
Christian terrorism' comprises terrorist acts by groups or individuals who use Christian motivations or goals for their actions. As with other forms of religious terrorism, Christian terrorists have relied on interpretations of the tenets of faith – in this case, the Bible. Such groups have cited Old Testament and New Testament scriptures to justify violence and killing or to seek to bring about the "end times" described in the New Testament.
After the Constantinian shift, Christianity became entangled with government. While anthropologists have shown that throughout history the relationship between religion and politics has been complex, there is no doubt that religious institutions, including Christian ones, have been used coercively by governments, and have themselves used coercion. Examples include: during the Christian persecution of paganism under Theodosius I, forced conversion and violent assimilation of pagan tribes in medieval Europe, the Inquisition, including its manifestations in Goa, Mexico, Portugal, and Spain, forced conversion of indigenous children in North American and Australia, and, since 1992, against Hindus in Northeast India.
Support of slavery
Early Christianity variously opposed, accepted, or ignored slavery. The early Christian perspectives of slavery were formed in the contexts of Christianity's roots in Judaism, and as part of the wider culture of the Roman Empire. Both the Old and New Testaments recognize that the institution of slavery existed.
The earliest surviving Christian teachings about slavery are from Paul the Apostle, who frequently referred to himself as a "Slave of Christ", perhaps implying that he was a slave and Jesus was his master, although it may have just been an expression. Paul did not renounce the institution of slavery. Conversely, he taught that Christian slaves ought to serve their masters wholeheartedly.[Eph. 6:5–8]. Nothing in the passage affirms slavery as a naturally valid or divinely mandated institution. Rather, Paul’s discussion of the duties of Christian slaves and the responsibilities of Christian masters transforms the institution, even if it falls short of calling for outright abolition. In the ancient world the slave was a thing. Aristotle wrote that there could never be friendship between master and slave, for master and slave have nothing in common: “a slave is a living tool, just as a tool is an inanimate slave.” Paul’s words are entirely different. He calls the slave a “slave of Christ,” one who wants to do “the will of God” and who will receive a “reward” for “whatever good he does”. Likewise, the master is responsible to God for how he treats the slave, who is ultimately God’s rather than his own property. This is another way of saying that the slave, no less than the master, has been made in God’s image. As such, he possesses inestimable worth and great dignity. He is to be treated properly. In such a framework slavery, even though it remained slavery, could never be the same institution as for non-Christians. It was this transformation (which came from viewing all persons as made in God’s image) that ultimately destroyed slavery. Tradition describes Pope Pius I (term c. 158–167) and Pope Callixtus I (term c. 217–222) as former slaves.
Nearly all Christian leaders before the late 17th century recognised slavery, within specific Biblical limitations, as consistent with Christian theology. In early Medieval times, the Church discouraged slavery throughout Europe, largely eliminating it. That changed in 1452, when Pope Nicholas V instituted the hereditary slavery of captured Muslims and pagans, regarding all non-Christians as "enemy of christ."
Genesis 9:25–27, the Curse of Ham, says: "Cursed be Canaan! The lowest of slaves will he be to his brothers. He also said, 'Blessed be the Lord, the God of Shem! May Canaan be the slave of Shem." This verse has been used to justify racialized slavery, since "Christians and even some Muslims eventually identified Ham's descendents as black Africans". Anthony Pagden argued that "This reading of the Book of Genesis merged easily into a medieval iconographic tradition in which devils were always depicted as black. Later pseudo-scientific theories would be built around African skull shapes, dental structure, and body postures, in an attempt to find an unassailable argument—rooted in whatever the most persuasive contemporary idiom happened to be: law, theology, genealogy, or natural science—why one part of the human race should live in perpetual indebtedness to another."
Rodney Stark makes the argument in For the Glory of God: How Monotheism Led to Reformations, Science, Witch-Hunts, and the End of Slavery, that Christianity helped to end slavery worldwide, as does Lamin Sanneh in Abolitionists Abroad. These authors point out that Christians who viewed slavery as wrong on the basis of their religious convictions spearheaded abolitionism, and many of the early campaigners for the abolition of slavery were driven by their Christian faith and a desire to realize their view that all people are equal under God.
Many modern Christians are united in the condemnation of slavery as wrong and contrary to God's will. Only peripheral groups such as the Ku Klux Klan and other Christian hate groups on the racist fringes of the Christian Reconstructionist and Christian Identity movements advocate the reinstitution of slavery. Full adherents to reconstructionism are few and marginalized among conservative Christians. With these exceptions, all Christian faith groups now condemn slavery, and see the practice as incompatible with basic Christian principles.
Violence against Jews
A strain of hostility among Christians to Judaism and the Jewish people developed from the early years of Christianity and persisted over the ensuing centuries, driven by numerous factors including theological differences, the Christian drive for converts decreed by the Great Commission, misunderstanding of Jewish beliefs and practices, and a perceived Jewish hostility toward Christians, and culminated in the Holocaust, which has driven many within Christianity to reflect on the relationship between theology, practices, and that genocide.
These attitudes were reinforced in Christian preaching, art and popular teaching over the centuries containing contempt for Jews.
Modern Antisemitism has been described as primarily hatred against Jews as a race with its modern expression rooted in 18th century racial theories, while anti-Judaism is described as hostility to Jewish religion, but in Western Christianity it effectively merged into antisemitism during the 12th century.
This section requires expansion. (May 2016)
Christian opposition to violence
In the first few centuries of Christianity, many Christians refused to engage in military combat. In fact, there were a number of famous examples of soldiers who became Christians and refused to engage in combat afterward. They were subsequently executed for their refusal to fight. The commitment to pacifism and rejection of military service is attributed by Allman and Allman to two principles: "(1) the use of force (violence) was seen as antithetical to Jesus' teachings and service in the Roman military required worship of the emperor as a god which was a form of idolatry."
In the 3rd century, Origen wrote: "Christians could not slay their enemies." Clement of Alexandria wrote: "Above all, Christians are not allowed to correct with violence the delinquencies of sins." Tertullian argued forcefully against all forms of violence, considering abortion, warfare and even judicial death penalties to be forms of murder.
- Christianity and capital punishment
- Christianity and domestic violence
- Christians in the military
- God's Army (revolutionary group)
- Iron Guard
- Islam and violence
- Islamic terrorism
- Jewish terrorism
- Lord's Resistance Army
- Moral absolutism
- Medieval inquisition
- Mormonism and violence
- National-Christian Defense League
- Persecution of traditional African religion
- Religious hate groups
- Religious intolerance
- Religious terrorism
- "Mark 12:31 The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these". biblehub.com.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
- "Matthew 22:37 Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'". biblehub.com.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
- "Matthew 22:39 And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'". biblehub.com.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
- Selengut, Charles (2008-04-28). Sacred fury: understanding religious violence. p. 1. ISBN 978-0-7425-6084-0.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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- J. Denny Weaver (2001). "Violence in Christian Theology". Cross Currents. Retrieved 2010-10-27.
I am using broad definitions of the terms "violence" and "nonviolence." "Violence" means harm or damage, which obviously includes the direct violence of killing – in war, capital punishment, murder – but also covers the range of forms of systemic violence such as poverty, racism, and sexism. "Nonviolence" also covers a spectrum of attitudes and actions, from the classic Mennonite idea of passive nonresistance through active nonviolence and nonviolent resistance that would include various kinds of social action, confrontations and posing of alternatives that do not do bodily harm or injury.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
- Volf, Miroslav. "The Social Meaning of Reconciliation" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-11-17.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
- Boustan, Ra'anan S. (2010). Violence, Scripture, and Textual Practice in Early Judaism and Christianity. BRILL.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
- Jenkins, Philip (March 8, 2009). "Dark Passages". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2010-11-26.
the Bible overflows with "texts of terror," to borrow a phrase coined by the American theologian Phyllis Trible. The Bible contains far more verses praising or urging bloodshed than does the Koran, and biblical violence is often far more extreme, and marked by more indiscriminate savagery. … If the founding text shapes the whole religion, then Judaism and Christianity deserve the utmost condemnation as religions of savagery.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
- Gibson, Leigh; Matthews, Shelly (2005). Violence in the New Testament. Continuum International Publishing Group. p. 3.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
- J. Denny Weaver (2001). "Violence in Christian Theology". Cross Currents. Retrieved 2010-10-27.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
- see e.g.: John Coffey, Persecution and Toleration on Protestant England 1558–1689, 2000, p.22
- Volf, Miroslav (2008). "Christianity and Violence". In Hess, Richard S.; Martens, E.A. War in the Bible and terrorism in the twenty-first century. Eisenbrauns. pp. 1–17. ISBN 978-1-57506-803-9. Retrieved June 1, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
- Volf 2008, p. 13
- Mark Juergensmeyer (2004). Terror in the Mind of God: The Global Rise of Religious Violence. University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-24011-1.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
- Girard, Rene. The Scapegoat. p. 204.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
- Daniel Chirot. Why Some Wars Become Genocidal and Others Don't (PDF). Jackson School of International Studies, University of Washington. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 17, 2008.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
- The first philosophers of just war were Aristotle and Cicero, and the first theologians St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas
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- Bernard of Clairvaux, In Praise Of The New Knighthood, ca. 1135
- Ulrich Luz, Matthew in History, Fortress Press, 1994, p26-27
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- Christians and War: Thomas Aquinas refines the "Just War" Theory Archived February 25, 2008 at the Wayback Machine
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- War, A Catholic Dictionary: Containing some Account of the Doctrine, Discipline, Rites, Ceremonies, Councils, and Religious Orders of the Catholic Church, W. E Addis, T. Arnold, Revised T. B Scannell and P. E Hallett, 15th Edition, Virtue & Co, 1953, Nihil Obstat: Reginaldus Philips, Imprimatur: E. Morrogh Bernard, 2 October 1950, "In the Name of God : Violence and Destruction in the World's Religions", M. Jordan, 2006, p. 40
- Peters, Edward. "Inquisition", p. 54.
- this is roughly comparable with the number of people executed for witchcraft in Europe during about the same time span as the Inquisition (estimated at c. 40,000–60,000, i.e. roughly ten times higher in a territory with a population roughly ten times higher). Data for executions for witchcraft: Levack, Brian P. (1995). The Witch Hunt in Early Modern Europe (Second Edition). London and New York: Longman, and see Witch trials in Early Modern Europe for more detail.
- Jose Rogelio Alvarez, ed. "Inquisicion" (in Spanish). Enciclopedia de Mexico. VII (2000 ed.). Mexico City: Sabeca International Investment Corp.. ISBN 1-56409-034-5
- Chuchiak IV, John F. The Inquisition in New Spain, 1571–1820: A Documentary History Baltimore:Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012, p. 236
- Saraiva, António José (2001), "Introduction to the English edition", The Marrano Factory: The Portuguese Inquisition and Its New Christians 1536–1765, Brill, p. 9<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>.
- Murphy, Cullen (2012). God's Jury. New York: Mariner Books – Houghton, Miflin, Harcourt. p. 150.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
- "Goa Inquisition was most merciless and cruel". Rediff. 14 September 2005. Retrieved 14 April 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
- Saraiva (2001/1975), The Marrano Factory, p. 107
- Salomon, H. P. and Sassoon, I. S. D., in Saraiva, Antonio Jose. The Marrano Factory. The Portuguese Inquisition and Its New Christians, 1536–1765 (Brill, 2001 reprint/1975 revision), pp. 345–7.
- Andrea Del Col: L'Inquisizione in Italia. Milano: Oscar Mondadori, 2010, pp. 779–780. ISBN 978-88-04-53433-4.
- mostly in the Holy Roman Empire, the British Isles and France, and to some extent in the European colonies in North America; largely excluding the Iberian Peninsula and Italy; "Inquisition Spain and Portugal, obsessed with heresy, ignored the witch craze. In Italy, witch trials were comparatively rare and did not involve torture and executions." Anne L. Barstow, Witchcraze : a New History of the European Witch Hunts, HarperCollins, 1995.
- Thurston, Robert W. (2001). Witch, Wicce, Mother Goose: The Rise and Fall of the Witch Hunts in Europe and North America. Edinburgh: Longman. p. 1. ISBN 978-0582438064.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
- Scarre, Geoffrey; Callow, John (2001). Witchcraft and Magic in Sixteenth and Seventeenth-Century Europe (second ed.). Basingstoke: Palgrave. p. 34. ISBN 9780333920824.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
- Scarre & Callow 2001, p. 12.
- Scarre & Callow 2001, pp. 1, 21.
- Historical Dictionary of Stuart England, edited by Ronald H. Fritze and William B. Robison. Greenwood Publishing Group, 1996. ISBN 978-0-313-28391-8. (p.552).
- Hutton 2010, p. 247. Scarre and Callow (2001) put forward 40,000 as an estimate for the number killed.(Scarre & Callow 2001, pp. 1, 21) Levack (2006) came to an estimate of 45,000. Levack, Brian (2006). The Witch Hunt in Early Modern Europe Third Edition. Longman. Page 23. Hutton (2010) estimated that the numbers were between 40,000–50,000,(Hutton 2010, p. 247) Wolfgang Behringer and Lyndal Roper had independently calculated the number as being between 50,000–60,000.(Behringer 2004, p. 149; Roper 2004, pp. 6–7) In an earlier unpublished essay, Hutton counted local estimates, and in areas where estimates were unavailable attempted to extrapolate from nearby regions with similar demographics and attitudes towards witch hunting. "Estimates of Executions (based on Hutton's essay 'Counting the Witch Hunt')".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>.
- Bishop, J (2006). Aquinas on Torture New Blackfriars, 87:229.
- Larissa Tracy, Torture and Brutality in Medieval Literature: Negotiations of National Identity, (Boydell and Brewer Ltd, 2012), 22; "In 1252 Innocent IV licensed the use of torture to obtain evidence from suspects, and by 1256 inquisitors were allowed to absolve each other if they used instruments of torture themselves, rather than relying on lay agents for the purpose...".
- "Inquisition: Introduction", Medieval sourcebook, Fordham University
- Peters writes: "When faced with a convicted heretic who refused to recant, or who relapsed into heresy, the inquisitors were to turn him over to the temporal authorities – the "secular arm" – for animadversio debita, the punishment decreed by local law, usually burning to death." (Peters, Edwards. "Inquisition", p. 67.)
- Lea, Henry Charles. "Chapter VII. The Inquisition Founded". A History of the Inquisition In The Middle Ages. 1. ISBN 1-152-29621-3. Retrieved 2009-10-07.
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