This article compares and contrasts England's first three Witchcraft Acts (1542, 1563, and 1604) with demonological treatises published by English theologians and clerics between 1580 and 1627 with the intention of highlighting the different ways both types of texts defined witches and their actions. This research focuses on cunning folk as healers to emphasize the disparity of interests and aims that underpinned the representation of witchcraft in civil law and religious treatises concerning that issue. I suggest that during Elizabethan and Jacobean periods, discussions about the definition of witchcraft became one of the battlefields where those who thought the English Reformation had achieved its ends and those who propelled a more thorough disciplining of the population to create a godly society collided. I argue that demonological works served, among other purposes, to express grievances about the official religious policy.

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