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Islam, Arabs, and the Intelligent World of the Jinn (review)

Islam, Arabs, and the Intelligent World of the Jinn (review) Magic, Ritual, and Witchcraft Summer 2012 Bruno and Moritz Hofmann) concluded that Anna Fessler had died specifically from arsenic poisoning, despite the fact that the autopsy report contained no empirical evidence proving the presence of arsenic, and put forward an alternative theory (that Fessler's own body had generated the poison that killed her) that could have been used to exonerate Schmieg. As Robisheaux points out, Bruno and Hofmann ``were not following the evidence at all but actually asserting their own erudition'' (p. 254)--in other words, they were opting for the interpretation that was most damaging to Schmieg. Von Gulchen's willingness to look to his alma mater of Strasbourg ¨ for legal approval to have Schmieg tortured again (after Altdorf had advised against it) perhaps also hints at a personal, professional interest in ensuring that Schmieg was convicted. As Robisheaux concedes, the Strasbourg opinion on this point implicitly advised von Gulchen to treat Schmieg's witchcraft as an ¨ exceptional crime--without saying so in as many words--for apparently no other reason than that Anna Schmieg was ``a godless, barbaric, and crazy old woman'' (p. 280). Von Gulchen went on to authorize her torture on not just ¨ one but two http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Magic, Ritual, and Witchcraft University of Pennsylvania Press

Islam, Arabs, and the Intelligent World of the Jinn (review)

Magic, Ritual, and Witchcraft , Volume 7 (1) – May 12, 2012

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Publisher
University of Pennsylvania Press
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The University of Pennsylvania Press
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1940-5111
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Abstract

Magic, Ritual, and Witchcraft Summer 2012 Bruno and Moritz Hofmann) concluded that Anna Fessler had died specifically from arsenic poisoning, despite the fact that the autopsy report contained no empirical evidence proving the presence of arsenic, and put forward an alternative theory (that Fessler's own body had generated the poison that killed her) that could have been used to exonerate Schmieg. As Robisheaux points out, Bruno and Hofmann ``were not following the evidence at all but actually asserting their own erudition'' (p. 254)--in other words, they were opting for the interpretation that was most damaging to Schmieg. Von Gulchen's willingness to look to his alma mater of Strasbourg ¨ for legal approval to have Schmieg tortured again (after Altdorf had advised against it) perhaps also hints at a personal, professional interest in ensuring that Schmieg was convicted. As Robisheaux concedes, the Strasbourg opinion on this point implicitly advised von Gulchen to treat Schmieg's witchcraft as an ¨ exceptional crime--without saying so in as many words--for apparently no other reason than that Anna Schmieg was ``a godless, barbaric, and crazy old woman'' (p. 280). Von Gulchen went on to authorize her torture on not just ¨ one but two

Journal

Magic, Ritual, and WitchcraftUniversity of Pennsylvania Press

Published: May 12, 2012

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