Sanguma Meri Essay

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Sanguma Meri Text by Candace Goodrich The witch-hunts of early modern Europe (1450-1750), seem almost a fiction, a dark spot in history that we are far-removed from. As if democracy, science, industrialization, and religious pluralism, has rendered such mass hysteria and superstition as both irrational and impossibile in contemporary society. With the publication of the Malleus maleficarum, “The Hammer of Witches”, by the Catholic Inquisition in 1485-1486, with no less than 20 printed editions, “genderized mass murder” was fully sanctioned by the Vatican. The Hammer was a highly detailed how-to-guide to identify witches and seek their confessions, resulting in the torture and murder of tens of thousands. Germany lead historically with the highest death toll in Europe. Witch-hunts were the brutal ramification of economic crisis, widespread social disenfranchisement, religious instability and polarization due to the emergence of Protestantism. The atmosphere of intolerance and decades of war, of debilitating natural disasters, famine, and the Bubonic plague, was the breeding ground for fear, jealousey, gossip, slander, hearsay, and suspicion. Most often it was sparked by a conflict between women, neighbors, family members, a need to find a scapegoat, a greed to possess what another had gained. Sadly so, the persecution of women, men, and children on the basis of accusations of sorcery is still in practice globally, and growing at an alarming rate in developing countries, as neocolonialism creates a climate of unrest, dependency, poverty, unsurmontable debt, and frustration in the face of consumerism, socio-economic and political flucuations. Multinational corporations operating in countries such as South Africa, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Papua New Guinea, the Congo, India, among others, enrich a ruling elite, while causing massive humanitarian, environmental,

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