A Sermon On Werewolves

Yesterday I took a few minutes to sit down and read one of the oddest sermons I have ever stumbled upon. The title: A Sermon On Werewolves. No, it was not just some catchy title, the sermon is about what it claims to be about: werewolves. It was preached by Dr. Johann Geiler von Keysersperg (1445 – 1510) who was a famous preacher in Strasbourg, Germany. He gave this particular sermon at Strasbourg on the third Sunday in Lent in the year 1508. He listed 7 reasons for why werewolves attack people (a werewolf, of course, is a man who turns into a wolf at night):

1. Hunger
2. Savageness
3. Old Age
4. Experience
5. Madness
6. The Devil
7. God

Here's what he had to say about #7: "Under the seventh head, the injury comes of God’s ordinance. For God will sometimes punish certain lands and villages with wolves. So we read of Elisha, — that when Elisha wanted to go up a mountain out of Jericho, some naughty boys made a mock of him and said, “O bald head, step up! O glossy pate, step up!” What happened? He cursed them. Then came two bears out of the desert and tore about forty-two of the children. That was God’s ordinance. The like we read of a prophet who would set at naught the commands he had received of God, for he was persuaded to eat bread at the house of another. As he went home he rode upon his ass. Then came a lion which slew him and left the ass alone. That was God’s ordinance. Therefore must man turn to God when He brings wild beasts to do him a mischief: which same brutes may He not bring now or evermore. Amen."

How about that? What would we have done without German scholarship? Anyway, be on your watch, there's a full moon coming up soon.

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