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Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe: Studies in Culture and Belief (Past and Present Publications)

Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe: Studies in Culture and Belief (Past and Present Publications)

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Cambridge University Press, 7/18/1996
EAN 9780521552240, ISBN10: 0521552249

Hardcover, 388 pages, 22.4 x 14.5 x 2.5 cm
Language: English

This important collection 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.

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.