Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe: Studies in Culture and Belief / Edition 1

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This important new collection of essays offers a wide readership both an up-to-date account of the present state of scholarship on early modern European witchcraft and an indication of the direction of new research. The contributors build on and respond to the issues raised in Keith Thomas' classic study Religion and the Decline of Magic, and suggest a greater emphasis on cultural history, notably issues of power, gender and language. The essays are European in scope, with examples from Germany, France and the Spanish expansion into the New World, as well as a strong core of English material.

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Editorial Reviews

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"Essential reading on the history of European witchcraft." Richard M. Golden, Religious Studies Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521638753
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/2002
  • Series: Past and Present Publications Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 388
  • Product dimensions: 5.43 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Keith Thomas and the problem of witchcraft: explanations and representations of witchcraft since Religion and the Decline of Magic Jonathan Barry; Part I. The Crime and its History: 2. 'Many reasons why': Witchcraft and the problem of multiple explanation Robin Briggs; 3. 'Witchcraft Studies' in Austria, Germany and Switzerland Wolfgang Behringer; 4. State-building and witch-hunting in early modern Europe Brian Levack; Part II. Witchcraft and Religion: 5. The Devil in the Old World and the New Fernando Cervantes; 6. 'Saints or sorcerers': Quakerism, demonology and the decline of witchcraft in seventeenth-century England Peter Elmer; Part III. The Making of a Witch: 7. The descendants of Circe: witches and Renaissance fictions Gareth Roberts; 8. Witchcraft and fantasy in early modern Germany Lyndal Roper; 9. The Devil in East Anglia: the Matthew Hopkins trials reconsidered Jim Sharpe; Part IV. Witchcraft and the Social Environment: 10. Witchcraft in early modern Kent: stereotypes and the background to accusations Malcolm Gaskill; 11. Patriarchal reconstuction and witch-hunting Marianne Hester; Part V. Decline: 12. Witchcraft repealed Ian Bostridge; 13. On the continuation of witchcraft Willem de Blecourt.

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