What was the 'Malleus Maleficarum'?

What is the Malleus Maleficarum, and how is it related to the Inquisition? In particular “witch hunting”?

Written by two Dominican theologians and inquisitors, Jacob Sprenger and Heinrich Kraemer, the Malleus Maleficarum (Latin, “Hammer of the Witches”) was a fifteenth-century book that was intended to aid inquisitors in identifying and prosecuting accused witches. While it did not in itself incite witchhunts at the time of its publication, it was influential in shaping later Catholic and Protestant thinking on witches. And, although Sprenger is known to have had a deep personal Marian devotion, his book was searingly misogynistic.

For more information, please see the article Who Burned the Witches? by Catholic journalist and medieval historian Sandra Miesel.

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