Denial of Sudduceism in Salem: Caught in a Devil’s Cloyster for Witches

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Denial of Sadduceism in Salem: Caught in a Devil’s Cloyster for Witches explores what it might have been like to live in Salem Village in the years between 1689 and 1693. Sadduceism was the belief that no such thing as ghosts, demons, witches and other supernatural beings existed. To the minds of many who lived in that era that indicated a disbelief in God and in the teachings of the Bible. The King James translation of the Bible had been published in 1611, so educated people would have been able to read it. In England and in the Thirteen Colonies, people could be executed not only for the practice of witchcraft, but also for being Quakers, or for having any religion with deviated from the predominant beliefs, which were for the most part Puritanism and Calvinism. Among the Puritans of Salem Village, women were often heard, but had little real power. Women who were slaves, indentured servants or natives had even less power. It is into this environment that we bring a woman who is a Quaker, has already been imprisoned once for her beliefs, and has been trained as a midwife and doctor. She is, by all definitions, a Sadduceist – that is, a woman who believes in rational explanations for the events of the world.

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