many soldiers yet without prior knowledge W r i t i n g
Joan of Arc, day 1: Read the end of the trial transcript.
You probably guessed how it would turn out when they began by calling her a dead woman. But why do they make such a point of saying she confessed everything and had been deluded by spirits? How does this provide a framework for later witchcraft trials and for later legal efforts to discredit potentially powerful people, especially women, who posed a threat to the existing social or political order?
Saint Joan of Arc’s trial remains one of the most absurd court trials due to controversies introduced. Indicted for sorcery, claiming to speak with God and adorning in male clothes, Bishop Cauchon and other supporters used all tactics possible to ensure Joan’s condemnation to death. After thorough sessions of admonishing Joan and convincing her that she had disobeyed church laws, the prosecutors declared that all her actions were delusional and that the evil spirits were at play. The reason behind this was the abjuration that they made her sign that stated everything she had done contradicted church teachings and came from the devil. Even though Joan signed it, she did it out of fear and due to the constant admonitions she received from the religious leaders. Therefore, they said she was delusional because she signed an abjuration admitting it.The claims that Joan was delusional set ground for a thorough assessment of people’s actions and claims regarding conversations with God to detect any form of heresy. All those claiming to have had conversations with God henceforth underwent trials that questioned faith and beliefs, and miracles performed as well as good deeds just like in Joan’s case. Even though the church rightly, based on doctrines, tested the claimant’s belief, bias against women became evident. With Joan declared delusional and spirit-led by demons, the efforts put in her hearing introduced bias, especially against women, so that the law discredits them despite pieces of evidence presented. The reason for the bias is the potential threats posed by women being in power. For example, with Joan commanding so many soldiers yet without prior knowledge of such service, frequently adorned in male attire and her hair kept short (Barrett, pp.317), some leaders saw a threat to their positions. What furthered the political and social danger was Joan’s referral to only following God’s commands, which Bishop Cauchon saw as a threat to the church authority and his political allies. Joan’s trial set a ground that perpetuated bias legal proceedings, especially among influential women, since her actions presented a threat to some social and political positions.ReferencesBarrett, W. P. (n.d). “Trial of condemnation.” Retrieved from http://saint-joan-of-arc.com/trial-condemnation.ht…