Montaigne on Witches and the Authority of Religion in the Public Sphere

Philosophy and Literature, Vol. 33, pp. 235-251, 2009

17 Pages Posted: 10 Aug 2013

See all articles by Brian Ribeiro

Brian Ribeiro

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga - Department of Philosophy & Religion

Date Written: 2009

Abstract

While contemporary readers may find what appear to be appealing streaks of liberalism in Montaigne, I argue that a more careful analysis suggests that Montaigne’s overall stance is quietist and conservative. To help support this claim I offer a close reading of Montaigne’s essay “Of Cripples” where he develops his well-known critique of the witch trials of early modern Europe. Once Montaigne’s objections to the witch trials are properly understood, we see that Montaigne did not seriously or consistently dispute the Church’s authority in political matters, though certain undeveloped seeds of liberalism do leave an unresolved tension in his writings.

Keywords: Montaigne, witch trials quietism

Suggested Citation

Ribeiro, Brian, Montaigne on Witches and the Authority of Religion in the Public Sphere (2009). Philosophy and Literature, Vol. 33, pp. 235-251, 2009, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2308023

Brian Ribeiro (Contact Author)

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga - Department of Philosophy & Religion ( email )

Department of Philosophy & Religion (#2753)
615 McCallie Ave.
Chattanooga, TN 37403
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.brian-ribeiro.com

Do you have negative results from your research you’d like to share?

Paper statistics

Downloads
144
Abstract Views
870
Rank
367,437
PlumX Metrics