Explores this dark aspect of folklore and religion and the role that demons play in the modern world. Includes numerous entries documenting beliefs about demons and demonology from ancient history to the present.
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.
Monsters and shape-shifters have always held a special fascination in mythologies, legends, and folklore the world over. From ancient customs to famous cases of beasts and vampires and their reflections in popular culture, 600 entries provide definitions, explanations, and lists of suggested further reading.
Witchcraft and magic are topics of enduring interest for many reasons. The main one lies in their extraordinary interdisciplinarity: anthropologists, folklorists, historians, and more have contributed to build a body of work of extreme variety and consistence. Of course, this also means that the subjects themselves are not easy to assess. In a very general way, we can define witchcraft as a supernatural means to cause harm, death, or misfortune, while magic also belongs to the field of supernatural, or at least esoteric knowledge, but can be used to less dangerous effects (e.g., divination and astrology). In Western civilization, however, the witch hunt has set a very peculiar perspective in which diabolical witchcraft, the invention of the Sabbat, the persecution of many thousands of (mostly) female and (sometimes) male presumed witches gave way to a phenomenon that is fundamentally different from traditional witchcraft. This Special Issue of Religions dedicated to Witchcraft, Demonology, and Magic features nine articles that deal with four different regions of Europe (England, Germany, Hungary, and Italy) between Late Medieval and Modern times in different contexts and social milieus. Far from pretending to offer a complete picture, they focus on some topics that are central to the research in those fields and fit well in the current “cumulative concept of Western witchcraft” that rules out all mono-causality theories, investigating a plurality of causes.
By denying evil we do harm. By denying darkness we obscure the light. Over a period of almost two millennia, the Christian Church has oppressed and brutalized millions of individuals in an attempt to control and contain spirituality. The Dark Side of Christian History reveals in painstaking detail the tragedies, sorrows and injustices inflicted upon humanity by the Church. This expose is a compelling and passionate cry for human dignity and spiritual freedom. Book jacket.
What is witchcraft? What is paganism? And why are these ancient practices still with us? Alternative spiritual beliefs are attracting increasing numbers of followers in Australia and around the world. Focusing on Wicca, or witchcraft, Lynne Hume explores some of the mystery surrounding the diverse range of pagan practices and beliefs, and dispels some commonly held misconceptions. Hume's innovative multidisciplinary study examines the historical roots of pagan beliefs, and how pagan world views relate to contemporary environmentalism, feminism, morality and mainstream religions. It discusses the rituals of paganism, the notion of magic and what constitutes spiritual experience. Based partly on the author's own experiences, and rich with anecdotes from Australian Pagans, Witchcraft and Paganism in Australia is full of insights into this intriguing social phenomenon.
A study which shows that sexual abuse of children has an extensive history and has been - and still is - condoned by society. The author is on the board of New York Women Against Rape and works with Women Against Pornography. Her commentary is coupled with the testimonies of victims.
A revised and updated edition of the classic study on witchcraft examines the historical, anthropological, and religious manifestations of witchcraft, from ancient times to the present day, arguing that modern witchcraft in the West is in fact a serious religion that offers valuable insights. Original.