Montaigne on witches and the authority of religion in the public sphere

Philosophy and Literature 33 (2):pp. 235-251 (2009)
While contemporary readers may find what appear to be appealing streaks of liberalism in Montaigne's 'Essays', I argue that a more careful analysis suggests that Montaigne's overall stance is quietistic and conservative. To help support this claim I offer a close reading of 'Essays' III.11 ("Of Cripples"), where Montaigne offers his famous 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 French Catholicism  witches  witch trials  church and state
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1353/phl.0.0055
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,667
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

153 ( #14,264 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

122 ( #6,136 of 1,726,249 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.