Search results for: the-witch-hunt-in-early-modern-europe

The Witch Hunt in Early Modern Europe

Author : Brian P. Levack
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Between 1450 and 1750 thousands of people – most of them women – were accused, prosecuted and executed for the crime of witchcraft. The witch-hunt was not a single event; it comprised thousands of individual prosecutions, each shaped by the religious and social dimensions of the particular area as well as political and legal factors. Brian Levack sorts through the proliferation of theories to provide a coherent introduction to the subject, as well as contributing to the scholarly debate. The book: Examines why witchcraft prosecutions took place, how many trials and victims there were, and why witch-hunting eventually came to an end. Explores the beliefs of both educated and illiterate people regarding witchcraft. Uses regional and local studies to give a more detailed analysis of the chronological and geographical distribution of witch-trials. Emphasises the legal context of witchcraft prosecutions. Illuminates the social, economic and political history of early modern Europe, and in particular the position of women within it. In this fully updated third edition of his exceptional study, Levack incorporates the vast amount of literature that has emerged since the last edition. He substantially extends his consideration of the decline of the witch-hunt and goes further in his exploration of witch-hunting after the trials, especially in contemporary Africa. New illustrations vividly depict beliefs about witchcraft in early modern Europe.

Demonology and Witch Hunting in Early Modern Europe

Author : Julian Goodare
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Demonology – the intellectual study of demons and their powers – contributed to the prosecution of thousands of witches. But how exactly did intellectual ideas relate to prosecutions? Recent scholarship has shown that some of the demonologists’ concerns remained at an abstract intellectual level, while some of the judges’ concerns reflected popular culture. This book brings demonology and witch-hunting back together, while placing both topics in their specific regional cultures. The book’s chapters, each written by a leading scholar, cover most regions of Europe, from Scandinavia and Britain through to Germany, France and Switzerland, and Italy and Spain. By focusing on various intellectual levels of demonology, from sophisticated demonological thought to the development of specific demonological ideas and ideas within the witch trial environment, the book offers a thorough examination of the relationship between demonology and witch-hunting. Demonology and Witch-Hunting in Early Modern Europe is essential reading for all students and researchers of the history of demonology, witch-hunting and early modern Europe.

Witch Hunts in Europe and America

Author : William E. Burns
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Covering witch hunts from Germany to New England, this concise encyclopedia is a fascinating reference on the hunt to find and persecute those who practiced witchcraft.

Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe

Author : Jonathan Barry
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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.

Witchcraft in Early Modern Germany

Author : Anne Sophie Günzel
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Seminar paper from the year 2004 in the subject History Europe - Other Countries - Middle Ages, Early Modern Age, grade: English Grade:58% von 70%, University of Nottingham (School of History), course: Hauptseminar: Gender and Society in Early Modern Europe, language: English, abstract: 'Witch- hunting is seen as something pathological, a disease infecting like a plague the body of the communities in witch it raged.'1 With these words the historian Bob Scribner described witchcraft and witch-hunts. They are defined as something negative and pathological and it is obviously that witchcraft could easily emerged because of the traditional beliefs rooted in the early modern society of Germany. Witchcraft and witchhunts emerged in this period and made the population susceptible to the carrying out of denunciation and elimination of innocent people. The population had been easily influenced by the authorities like magistrates and their fellow citizens. In the following discussion/passage, witchcraft and witch-hunts concerning the early modern Europe will be less prominent rather than the study about witchcraft and witchhunts in early modern Germany. In particular the main focus will stress on the south of Germany because it was the centre of witchcraft and witch-hunts. In addition to that some examples will be mentioned to show special witchcraft and witch- hunt cases. First it will be examined how the term 'witch' is defined shown in a historical, linguistic and an etymological way. Then the two authors of the Malleus maleficarum2 and their ideas about witches and witchcraft will be mentioned. In the forth chapter the social context shall be examined. In this passage the accused shall be represented and the reasons which led to their accusation. In the last chapter the witch-hunts in early modern Germany shall be represented. It keeps the question in what way the witch-hunts increased during the early modern period and which reasons contributed to their decline. Furthe

The Oxford Handbook of Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe and Colonial America

Author : Brian P. Levack
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A collection of essays from leading scholars in the field that collectively study the rise and fall of witchcraft prosecutions in the various kingdoms and territories of Europe and in English, Spanish, and Portuguese colonies in the Americas.

Beyond the Witch Trials

Author : Owen Davies
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Beyond the witch trials provides an important collection of essays on the nature of witchcraft and magic in European society during the Enlightenment. The book is innovative not only because it pushes forward the study of witchcraft into the eighteenth century, but because it provides the reader with a challenging variety of different approaches and sources of information. The essays, which cover England, Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Germany, Scotland, Finland and Sweden, examine the experience of and attitudes towards witchcraft from both above and below. While they demonstrate the continued widespread fear of witches amongst the masses, they also provide a corrective to the notion that intellectual society lost interest in the question of witchcraft. While witchcraft prosecutions were comparatively rare by the mid-eighteenth century, the intellectual debate did no disappear; it either became more private or refocused on such issues as possession. The contributors come from different academic disciplines, and by borrowing from literary theory, archaeology and folklore they move beyond the usual historical perspectives and sources. They emphasise the importance of studying such themes as the aftermath of witch trials, the continued role of cunning-folk in society, and the nature of the witchcraft discourse in different social contexts. This book will be essential reading for those interested in the decline of the European witch trials and the continued importance of witchcraft and magic during the Enlightenment. More generally it will appeal to those with a lively interest in the cultural history of the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. This is the first of a two-volume set of books looking at the phenomenon of witchcraft, magic and the occult in Europe since the seventeenth century.

Male Witches in Early Modern Europe

Author : Lara Apps
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This is the first ever full book on the subject of male witches addressing incidents of witch-hunting in both Britain and Europe.

Heresy Magic and Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe

Author : Gary K. Waite
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In the fifteenth century many authorities did not believe Inquisitors' stories of a supposed Satanic witch sect. However, the religious conflict of the sixteenth-century Reformation - especially popular movements of reform and revolt - helped to create an atmosphere in which diabolical conspiracies (which swept up religious dissidents, Jews and magicians into their nets) were believed to pose a very real threat. Fear of the Devil and his followers inspired horrific incidents of judicially-approved terror in early modern Europe, leading after 1560 to the infamous witch hunts. Bringing together the fields of Reformation and witchcraft studies, this fascinating book reveals how the early modern period's religious conflicts led to widespread confusion and uncertainty. Gary K. Waite examines in-depth how church leaders dispelled rising religious doubt by persecuting heretics, and how alleged infernal plots, and witches who confessed to making a pact with the Devil, helped the authorities to reaffirm orthodoxy. Waite argues that it was only when the authorities came to terms with pluralism that there was a corresponding decline in witch panics.

Witch Hunting in Scotland

Author : Brian P. Levack
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Shortlisted for the 2008 Katharine Briggs Award Witch-Hunting in Scotland presents a fresh perspective on the trial and execution of the hundreds of women and men prosecuted for the crime of witchcraft, an offence that involved the alleged practice of maleficent magic and the worship of the devil, for inflicting harm on their neighbours and making pacts with the devil. Brian P. Levack draws on law, politics and religion to explain the intensity of Scottish witch-hunting. Topics discussed include: the distinctive features of the Scottish criminal justice system the use of torture to extract confessions the intersection of witch-hunting with local and national politics the relationship between state-building and witch-hunting and the role of James VI Scottish Calvinism and the determination of zealous Scottish clergy and magistrates to achieve a godly society. This original survey combines broad interpretations of the rise and fall of Scottish witchcraft prosecutions with detailed case studies of specific witch-hunts. Witch-Hunting in Scotland makes fascinating reading for anyone with an interest in witchcraft or in the political, legal and religious history of the early modern period.