Shaman of Oberstdorf: Chonrad Stoeckhlin and the Phantoms of the Night / Edition 1

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Overview

Shaman of Oberstdorf tells the fascinating story of a sixteenth-century mountain village caught in a panic of its own making. Four hundred years ago the Bavarian alpine town of Oberstdorf, surrounded by the towering peaks of the Vorarlberg, was awash in legends and rumors of prophets and healers, of spirits and specters, of witches and soothsayers. The book focuses on the life of a horse wrangler named Chonrad Stoeckhlin [1549-1587], whose extraordinary visions of the afterlife and enthusiastic practice of the occult eventually led to his death-and to the death of a number of village women-for crimes of witchcraft. Wolfgang Behringer is one of the premier historians of German witchcraft, not only because of his mastery of the subject at the regional level, but because he also writes movingly, forcefully, and with an eye for the telling anecdote.
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Editorial Reviews

Peter Burke

Behringer's book is one of the most vivid and dramatic pieces of microhistory I have ever read.... The fluent and fast-moving narrative will appeal to many readers with its human interest aspect. The author places this story in its historical contexts, from folklore to the Counter Reformation, so that the fate of Chonrad Stoekhlin illuminates rural life in early modern Germany.

Thomas A. Brady

This story is better documented, more sophisticated in interpretation, and in some respects better told than that of the Italian miller, Menocchio, that Carlo Ginzburg presents in his justly famous The Cheese and the Worms. Behringer is the premier historian of the witchcraft panic in this part of Germany and has a vast command of local knowledge that enables him to cotextualize this gripping story in an extemely concrete and colorful way.

Booknews
Tells the story of a late 16th-century horse wrangler whose extraordinary visions of the afterlife and enthusiastic practice of the occult led to his execution for crimes of witchcraft. Behringer, who specializes in German witchcraft, also examines the larger world of alpine myths about ghosts and other spirits of the dark. First published as Chonrad Stoeckhlin und die Nachtschar: Eine Geschichte aus der fruhen Neuzeit by R. Piper, Munich, in 1994. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813918532
  • Publisher: University of Virginia
  • Publication date: 8/28/1998
  • Series: Studies in Early Modern German History
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 222
  • Sales rank: 1,085,762
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.51 (d)

Meet the Author

Wolfgang Behringer teaches at the University of Munich and the University of Bonn and is the author of numerous books on German history and witchcraft.

H.C. Erik Midelfort is Julian Bishko Professor of History at the University of Virginia and the author of Mad Princes of Renaissance Germany [Virginia].

University of Virginia Press

Wolfgang Behringer teaches at the University of Munich and the University of Bonn and is the author of numerous books on German history and witchcraft.

H.C. Erik Midelfort is Julian Bishko Professor of History at the University of Virginia and the author of Mad Princes of Renaissance Germany [Virginia].

University of Virginia Press

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