Witches, Midwives, and Nurses - Witchcraft and Medicine in the Middle Ages Summary & Analysis

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Summary

Ehrenreich and English write that many women healers where suppressed by men in the early modern era in two ways: first, through systematic witch hunts which targeted them, and second, through the creation of "a new male medical profession" which was supported and patronized by the ruling classes (31). They also maintain the ethos of the witch hunts in which women were given "an aura of contamination" has become "a theme in our history" (32-33). Witch hunts spanned four centuries (14th-17th) and several countries, while maintaining a common theme in which the ruling classes terrorized the female peasant population. The authors discredit theories behind the rise and popularity of witch hunts in these periods which argue that they were symptoms of spontaneous outbreaks of mass hysteria. Instead, they argue, with evidence from primary sources, that they were "well-organized...

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This section contains 1,505 words
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Buy the Witches, Midwives, and Nurses Study Guide
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