Heinrich Kramer


Heinrich Kramer

Heinrich Kramer (also known under Latinised name Heinrich Institoris, c. 1430–1505) was a German churchman and inquisitor.

"Institoris" is the Latin genetive case of "Institor" ("retailer"). It was a common practise in those times to take the genetive of the father's name for latinisation [Paul Hinschius. Das Kirchenrecht der Katholiken und Protestanten in Deutschland. Band VI. 1897. Reprint Guttentag, 1959.] , but this genetive was used as nominative in Latin texts ("Venerabilis & religiosus frater Henricus institoris"). In German texts this name was abridged to "Institor" according the custom to omit Latin endings in translations (cf. "Iuvenalis" - "Juvenal").

Born in Schlettstadt, Alsace, he joined the Dominican Order at an early age and while still a young man was appointed Prior of the Dominican house of his native town.

At some date before 1474 he was appointed Inquisitor for the Tyrol, Salzburg, Bohemia and Moravia. His eloquence in the pulpit and tireless activity received recognition at Rome and he was the right-hand man of the Archbishop of Salzburg. By the time of the Bull "Summis desiderantes" of Pope Innocent VIII in 1484 he was already associated with James Sprenger to make an inquisition for witches and sorcerers. In 1485 he drew up a treatise on witchcraft, which was incorporated in the "Malleus Maleficarum" (lit. "The Hammer of malefactresses (wrongdoing women - i.e. witches)").

Kramer failed in his attempt to obtain endorsement for this work from the top theologians of the Inquisition at the Faculty of Cologne, and they condemned the book as recommending unethical and illegal procedures, as well as being inconsistent with Catholic doctrines of demonology. Kramer's claimed endorsement from four of the professors may have been forged. He was denounced by the Inquisition in 1490. [ [http://www.summerlands.com/crossroads/remembrance/_remembrance/malleus_maleficarum.htm Cautions about the Malleus Maleficarum] by historian Jenny Gibbons]

In 1495 he was summoned to Venice to give public lectures, which were very popular.

In 1500 he was empowered to proceed against the Waldensians and Picards. He died in Bohemia in 1505.

Major works

*"Malleus Maleficarum"
*"Several Discourses and Various Sermons upon the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist", Nuremberg, 1496
*"A Tract Confuting the Errors of Master Antonio degli Roselli", Venice, 1499
*"The Shield of Defence of the Holy Roman Church Against the Picards and Waldenses", c. 1500

Notes

External links

* [http://www.bautz.de/bbkl/i/Institoris.shtml BBK page] de icon


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  • Heinrich Institor — Dr. theol. Mag. Heinrich Institoris OP, eigentlich Heinrich Kramer oder Krämer bzw. Henryk Instytor, lat. (frater) Henricus Institoris (* um 1430 in Schlettstadt, Elsass; † um 1505 in Brünn oder Olmütz) war der Autor des Hexenhammers und als… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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