12 januar, 2007

Heksejagt på prævention

En interessant artikel, jeg faldt over på nettet. Forskere ved Bremens universitet fremlægger en interessant tese om årsagen til heksejagterne i Middelalderen:

While Oster explores a possible connection between witchcraft trials and deteriorating economic conditions due to the Little Ice Age, the authors’ paper focuses on the European Population Catastrophe due to the Little Ice Age and the Black Death of 1348-1352. By simultaneously addressing the timing, content and target of the witch hunts, the authors offer an alternative macroeconomic explanation.

The time of early Renaissance Europe, with the extreme losses of labor in the wake of the Little Ice Age and the Great Plague, brings about the Great Witch Hunt. Its content is the repression of the highly developed culture of artificial birth control of the Middle Ages, especially contraception and abortion, which in late medieval and early modern times deprives feudal and ecclesiastical lords of the manpower required to regain economic prosperity. Its target are the foremost experts of medieval birth control, the "midwives = witches". The thesis is discussed with respect to ecclesiastical and secular laws of the 15th and 16th centuries punishing all forms of birth control, the disappearance of medieval birth control knowledge in early modern times, and the dramatic rise in birth rates leading to the European Population Explosion of the 18th century. While the midwives are the prime target during the Great Witch Hunt, suppression of contraception and abortion continues after the end of the persecutions by other methods, making knowledge of birth control the great taboo of the Occident until the 1960s.

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