Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe: Studies in Culture and Belief

Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe: Studies in Culture and Belief

by Jonathan Barry
     
 

This important collection of essays brings together both established figures and new researchers to offer fresh perspectives on the ever controversial subject of the history of witchcraft. Using Keith Thomas's Religion and the Decline of Magic as a starting point, the contributors explore the changes of the last twenty-five years in the understanding of early modern… See more details below

Overview

This important collection of essays brings together both established figures and new researchers to offer fresh perspectives on the ever controversial subject of the history of witchcraft. Using Keith Thomas's Religion and the Decline of Magic as a starting point, the contributors explore the changes of the last twenty-five years in the understanding of early modern witchcraft, and suggest new approaches, especially concerning the cultural dimensions of the subject. Witchcraft cases must be understood as power struggles, over gender and ideology as well as social relationships, with a crucial role played by alternative representations. Witchcraft was always a contested idea, never fully established in early modern culture but much harder to dislodge than has usually been assumed. 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521552240
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
10/28/2004
Series:
Past and Present Publications Series
Pages:
388
Product dimensions:
5.43(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.98(d)

Table of Contents

Preface
1Introduction: Keith Thomas and the problem of witchcraft1
2'Many reasons why': witchcraft and the problem of multiple explanation49
3Witchcraft studies in Austria, Germany and Switzerland64
4State-building and witch hunting in early modern Europe96
5The devil's encounter with America119
6'Saints or sorcerers': Quakerism, demonology and the decline of witchcraft in seventeenth-century England145
7The descendants of Circe: witches and Renaissance fictions183
8Witchcraft and fantasy in early modern Germany207
9The devil in East Anglia: the Matthew Hopkins trials reconsidered237
10Witchcraft in early modern Kent: stereotypes and the background to accusations257
11Patriarchal reconstruction and witch hunting288
12Witchcraft repealed309
13On the continuation of witchcraft335
Index353

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