they could confirm their belief in witchcraft as a rhetorical device, and argue against persecution, or even the existence of witches.

Demonology was a dangerous subject that could result in physical harm not only by the demons but also the ecclesiastical and secular authorities. Delrio claimed that the witches' patrons were worse than the witches themselves and they were the first that should be prosecuted. Heinrich Schultheis rightly suspected that Spee engaged in an entirely different discourse and openly threatened him with torture and execution (Ausfuhrliche Instruction, wie in Inquisition Sachen des grewlichen Lasters der Zauberey zu procedieren; Cologne, 1634). To conclude, a meaningful discussion of demonological texts has to be set in the context of the interests these texts served and the particular situations they were related to.

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