Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Between the Devil and the HostImagining Witchcraft in Early Modern Poland$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Michael Ostling

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199587902

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199587902.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 20 November 2019

Broken Bodies

Broken Bodies

Chapter:
(p.165) 7 Broken Bodies
Source:
Between the Devil and the Host
Author(s):

Michael Ostling

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199587902.003.0008

The Eucharistic host was believed to be Christ’s body, sacrificed for the sins of humankind. Pious sorrow could transform into rage when Christians believed this sacrifice had been desecrated by Jews or witches. Host-desecration trials, blood libels, and some witch-trials are best understood as the flip-side to adoration of the host. Desecrated hosts were imagined to be used in malefice against children, emblems of the innocent Christ-Child. The chapter closely examines one trial in which a young accused witch confessed to host desecration and killing a ‘beautiful baby’ as a way to reflect on her own innocence, lost in a rape or seduction. This and other trials suggest that those accused of the worst anti-Christian crimes might themselves have been the most pious of Christians.

Keywords:   sacrifice, Christ-Child, host desecration, inversion, malefice against children, blood libel, piety

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .