A History of Witchcraft

( 2 )

Overview

"It separates centuries of supernatural nonsense from documented fact spellbinding."—Los Angeles Times
For nearly thirty years, Jeffrey B. Russell's authoritative book has been the one illustrated history to which anyone interested in this subject could turn with confidence. Now, in collaboration with Brooks Alexander, who has himself conducted innovative research in the field, this classic book has been fully revised, with an updated introduction and bibliography, new information throughout, and an extended ...

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Overview

"It separates centuries of supernatural nonsense from documented fact spellbinding."—Los Angeles Times
For nearly thirty years, Jeffrey B. Russell's authoritative book has been the one illustrated history to which anyone interested in this subject could turn with confidence. Now, in collaboration with Brooks Alexander, who has himself conducted innovative research in the field, this classic book has been fully revised, with an updated introduction and bibliography, new information throughout, and an extended account of witchcraft from ancient times to the present day.
Drawing comparisons between modern sorcery and that of the ancient world, the book shows how the European witch craze in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries developed out of a combination of ancient sorcery and medieval Christian heresy, paganism, folklore, scholastic theology, and inquisitorial trials. Whether the diabolical witchcraft for which men and women went to the stake 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: 9780500286340
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson
  • Publication date: 3/26/2007
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 216
  • Sales rank: 478,211
  • Product dimensions: 6.80 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Jeffrey B. Russell is Professor of History at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Brooks Alexander is the author of Witchcraft Goes Mainstream and has written numerous articles on witchcraft and neo-paganism and their effect on contemporary religious movements. He lives in Texas.

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Table of Contents


Preface     7
Introduction: What is a witch?     8
Sorcery and Historical Witchcraft     17
Sorcery     18
Sorcery Worldwide     20
Sorcery in Ancient Times     29
Sorcery and Religion     33
The roots of European witchcraft     37
Interpretations of European Witchcraft     40
Sorcery, Folklore, and Religion in Pagan Europe     42
The Legal Status of Sorcery     52
Witchcraft, heresy, and inquisition     55
The Dualist Heresies     58
From Sorcery to Witchcraft     63
The witch-craze on the continent of Europe     72
The Growth of the Witch-Craze     76
The Climax of the Witch-Craze     83
Witchcraft in Britain and America     90
Witchcraft in the British Isles     90
Witchcraft in the American Colonies     90
Witchcraft and society     109
Witchcraft and Women     113
The Salem Trials     118
The decline of witchcraft     122
The Romantic Revival     131
Modern Witchcraft     139
Survivals and revivals     140
Modern Sorcery     140
Neopagan witchcraft: the sources     145
Witchcraft as Paganism: Jarcke, Mone, and Michelet     145
The Forerunners: Leland, Murray, and Graves     149
Gerald Gardner: Father of Modern Witchcraft     158
Describing Modern Witchcraft     162
Neopagan witchcraft: the movement     164
The Re-Visioning of Wicca: Doreen Valiente to Alex Sanders     164
Burgeoning Diversity: Witchcraft in America     171
Cyber-Culture, Pop-Culture, and the Rise of the Paganoids     178
Witchcraft and the Interfaith Interface     185
Looking Forward: Growth, Validation, and Change     189
The role of witchcraft     193
Appendix     199
Notes on the text     200
Bibliography     203
List of illustrations     208
Index     212
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Customer Reviews

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