A History of Witchcraft: Sorcerers, Heretics, and Pagans

A History of Witchcraft: Sorcerers, Heretics, and Pagans

by Jeffrey Burton Russell
     
 

The witch-craze that swept through Europe in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries cost the lives of over 100,000 people, and sorcerers in many parts of the world today are still feared for their magic powers. Yet despite the importance of such a remarkable and widespread feature of human experience, there has been little critical study of witchcraft in all its… See more details below

Overview

The witch-craze that swept through Europe in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries cost the lives of over 100,000 people, and sorcerers in many parts of the world today are still feared for their magic powers. Yet despite the importance of such a remarkable and widespread feature of human experience, there has been little critical study of witchcraft in all its varied historical, anthropological and religious manifestations. In this lucid and thought-provoking book, Professor Russell provides the comprehensive account that has long been needed. Drawing fruitful comparisons between modern sorcery and that of the ancient world the book shows how the European witch-craze developed out of a combination of ancient sorcery with medieval Christian heresy (Catharism, Waldensianism), paganism, folklore, scholastic theology and inquisitorial trials. Whether the diabolical witchcraft that men and women went to the stake for ever existed is open to question. What matters more is that it was believed to exist - by intellectuals and peasants alike.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780500272428
Publisher:
Thames & Hudson
Publication date:
04/28/1982
Edition description:
Older Edition
Pages:
192
Product dimensions:
6.96(w) x 9.24(h) x 0.45(d)

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