1 What is criminology? 101CRM Introducing Criminology Lecture 3 Dr Anthony Colombo
2 The Influence of Demonology: Thinking about the world around us Historical changes and events rarely just happen. Criminology didn’t just appear over night. According to the influential French sociologists Auguste Comte (1798-1857) people have tried to make sense of the world around them in three key stages: theological (religious) Metaphysical (rational) scientific (modern)
3 The Influence of Demonology: Theological thoughts about crime I During the long Middle Ages, roughly between the 5th – 16th centuries – religion dominated. Celestial bodies such as the sun and the moon were considered as having human, God-like qualities. Floods, poor harvests, etc were explained in terms of the will of God. Spiritualist forces controlling our behaviour can still be seen today.
4 The Influence of Demonology: Theological thoughts about crime II This religious or spiritualist way of thinking about the world was also used as the basis for trying to understand crime, via God’s law. Crime was considered a sin against God’s law and those who committed such offences were predominately viewed as sinners.
5 The Influence of Demonology: Theological thoughts about crime III Explanations of crime/sin were strongly influenced by demonology: the belief that those who strayed from the ‘path of righteousness’ were either witches or sorcerers, heretics dabbling in the satanic black arts, or somehow overcome by the devil.
6 The Influence of Demonology: Theological thoughts about crime IV Michael Foucault (1926- 1984), judges would employ a range of cruel and unusual punishments directed towards damaging the only thing most people owned - their body - which was either burnt, whipped, branded or maimed, often to the point of destruction (Foucault, 1977).