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The Witch-Hunt in Early Modern Europe, now in its fourth edition, is the perfect resource for both students and scholars of the witch-hunts written by one of the leading names in the field. For those starting out in their studies of witch-beliefs and witchcraft trials, Brian Levack provides a concise survey of this complex and fascinating topic, while for more seasoned scholars the scholarship is brought right up to date. This new edition includes the most recent research on children, gender, male witches and demonic possession as well as broadening the exploration of the geographical distribution of witch prosecutions to include recent work on regions, cities and kingdoms enabling students to identify comparisons between countries. Now fully integrated with Brian Levack's The Witchcraft Sourcebook, there are links to the sourcebook throughout the text, pointing students towards key primary sources to aid them in their studies. The two books are drawn together on a new companion website with supplementary materials for those wishing to advance their studies, including an extensive guide to further reading, a chronology of the history of witchcraft and an interactive map to show the geographical spread of witch-hunts and witch trials across Europe and North America. A long-standing favourite with students and lecturers alike, this new edition of The Witch-Hunt in Early Modern Europe will be essential reading for those embarking on or looking to advance their studies of the history of witchcraft
First published in 1986. Independent Spirits is about the intellectual world of the humbly-born in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Britain, focussing on plebeian, or working- and lower middle-class spiritualists. This book is an important study which throws light on the idealism and search for knowledge that were so central in plebeian circles and in certain, very important parts of the labour movement during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This title will be of interest to students of history.
Witchcraft is very much alive in today's post-communist societies. Stemming from ancient rural traditions and influenced by modern New Age concepts, it has kept its function as a vibrant cultural code to combat the adversities of everyday life. Intricately linked to the Orthodox church and its rituals, the magic discourse serves as a recourse for those in distress, a mechanism to counter-balance misfortune and, sometimes, a powerful medium for acts of aggression. In this fascinating book, Alexandra Tataran skillfully re-contextualizes the vast and heterogenuous discourse on contemporary witchcraft. She shows how magic, divination, and religious rituals are adapted to the complex mechanisms of modern mentalities and urban living in the specific historical and social context of post-communist countries. Based on years of first-hand fieldwork, Tataran offers fascinating insights into the experience of individuals deeming themselves bewitched and argues that the practice can also teach us a lot about particular forms of adapting traditions and resorting to pre-existing cultural models.
When over 900 followers of the Peoples Temple religious group committed suicide in 1978, they left a legacy of suspicion and fear. Most accounts of this mass suicide describe the members as brainwashed dupes and overlook the Christian and socialist ideals that originally inspired Peoples Temple members. Hearing the Voices of Jonestown restores the individual voices that have been erased so that we can better understand what was created - and destroyed - at Jonestown, and why. Piecing together information from interviews with former group members, archival research, and diaries and letters of those who died there, Maaga describes the women leaders as educated political activists who were passionately committed to achieving social justice through communal life. The book analyzes the historical and sociological factors that, Maaga finds, contributed to the mass suicide, such as growing criticism from the larger community and the influx of an upper-class, educated leadership that eventually became more concerned with the symbolic effects of the organization than with the daily lives of its members. Hearing the Voices of Jonestown puts human faces on the events at Jonestown, confronting theoretical religious questions, such as how worthy utopian ideals come to meet such tragic and misguided ends.
The result of a perfect storm of factors that culminated in a great moral catastrophe, the Salem witch trials of 1692 took a breathtaking toll on the young English colony of Massachusetts. Over 150 people were imprisoned, and nineteen men and women, including a minister, were executed by hanging. The colonial government, which was responsible for initiating the trials, eventually repudiated the entire affair as a great ""delusion of the Devil."" In Satan and Salem, Benjamin Ray looks beyond single-factor interpretations to offer a far more nuanced view of why the Salem witch-hunt spiraled out of control. Rather than assigning blame to a single perpetrator, Ray assembles portraits of several major characters, each of whom had complex motives for accusing his or her neighbors. In this way, he reveals how religious, social, political, and legal factors all played a role in the drama. Ray's historical database of court records, documents, and maps yields a unique analysis of the geographic spread of accusations and trials, ultimately showing how the witch-hunt resulted in the execution of so many people-far more than any comparable witchcraft episode in North America
Outline of the processes of cosmic evolution, including detailed exercises for attaining higher conscious states.
One of the most enigmatic figures in history, Nostradamus - apothecary, astrologer and soothsayer - is a continual source of fascination. Indeed, his predictions are so much the stock-in-trade of the wildest merchants of imminent Doom that one could be forgiven for ignoring the fact that Michel de Nostredame, 1503-1566, was a figure firmly rooted in the society of the French Renaissance. In this bold new account of the life and work of Nostradamus, Denis Crouzet shows that any attempt to interpret his Prophecies at face value is misguided. Nostradamus was not trying to predict the future. He saw himself, rather, as prophesying , i.e. bringing the Word of God to humankind. In a century marked by the extreme violence of the Wars of Religion, Nostradamus profound Christian faith placed him among the evangelicals of his generation. Rejecting the confessional tensions tearing Europe apart, he sought to coax his readers towards an interiorised piety, based on the essential presence of Christ. Like Rabelais, for whom laughter was a therapy to help one cope with the misery of the times, Nostradamus saw himself as a physician of the soul as much as of the body. His unveiling of the menacing and horrendous events which await us in the future was a way of frightening his readers into the realisation that inner hatred was truly the greatest peril of all, to which the sole remedy was to live in the love and peace of Christ. This inspired interpretation penetrates the imaginative world of Nostradamus, a man whose life is as mysterious as his writings. It shows him in a completely new dimension, securing for him a significant place among the major thinkers of the Renaissance.
Discover the history of witches, experience the healing properties of crystals and learn simple daily incantation that will help you to shape your destiny. Witchcraft has existed since the days of Greek mythology and is now practiced as widely as other modern pagan religions. More than spells and incantations, witchcraft is a lifestyle that can help you relax, heal, and grow in confidence. With this guide, you'll learn the basics from assembling your own witch kit and getting to grips with tarot, to growing your own 'Witch Kitchen Garden'. Whether you want to learn more about rituals and magic, or if you just want to get in touch with your witchy side, The Little Book of Witchcraft will show you the way. In this book, magic writer Kitty Guilsborough shows you how to harness your inner power by unlocking the ancient art of witchcraft.
By the end of the nineteenth century, Victorians were seeking rational explanations for the world in which they lived. The radical ideas of Charles Darwin had shaken traditional religious beliefs. Sigmund Freud was developing his innovative models of the conscious and unconscious mind. And anthropologist James George Frazer was subjecting magic, myth, and ritual to systematic inquiry. Why, then, in this quintessentially modern moment, did late-Victorian and Edwardian men and women become absorbed by metaphysical quests, heterodox spiritual encounters, and occult experimentation? In answering this question for the first time, The Place of Enchantment breaks new ground in its consideration of the role of occultism in British culture prior to World War I. Rescuing occultism from its status as an irrational indulgence and situating it at the center of British intellectual life, Owen argues that an involvement with the occult was a leitmotif of the intellectual avant-garde. Carefully placing a serious engagement with esotericism squarely alongside revolutionary understandings of rationality and consciousness, Owen demonstrates how a newly psychologized magic operated in conjunction with the developing patterns of modern life. She details such fascinating examples of occult practice as the sex magic of Aleister Crowley, the pharmacological experimentation of W. B. Yeats, and complex forms of astral clairvoyance as taught in secret and hierarchical magical societies like the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Through a remarkable blend of theoretical discussion and intellectual history, Owen has produced a work that moves far beyond a consideration of occultists and their world. Bearing directly on our understanding of modernity, her conclusions will force us to rethink the place of the irrational in modern culture. "An intelligent, well-argued and richly detailed work of cultural history that offers a substantial contribution to our understanding of Britain."--Nick Freeman, Washington Times
In the courtrooms of seventeenth-century Russia, the great majority of those accused of witchcraft were male, in sharp contrast to the profile of accused witches across Catholic and Protestant Europe in the same period. While European courts targeted and executed overwhelmingly female suspects, often on charges of compacting with the devil, the tsars' courts vigorously pursued men and some women accused of practicing more down-to-earth magic, using poetic spells and home-grown potions. Instead of Satanism or heresy, the primary concern in witchcraft testimony in Russia involved efforts to use magic to subvert, mitigate, or avenge the harsh conditions of patriarchy, serfdom, and social hierarchy.
Broadly comparative and richly illustrated with color plates, Desperate Magic places the trials of witches in the context of early modern Russian law, religion, and society. Piecing together evidence from trial records to illuminate some of the central puzzles of Muscovite history, Kivelson explores the interplay among the testimony of accusers, the leading questions of the interrogators, and the confessions of the accused. Assembled, they create a picture of a shared moral vision of the world that crossed social divides. Because of the routine use of torture in extracting and shaping confessions, Kivelson addresses methodological and ideological questions about the Muscovite courts' equation of pain and truth, questions with continuing resonance in the world today. Within a moral economy that paired unquestioned hierarchical inequities with expectations of reciprocity, magic and suspicions of magic emerged where those expectations were most egregiously violated.
Witchcraft in Russia surfaces as one of the ways that oppression was contested by ordinary people scrambling to survive in a fiercely inequitable world. Masters and slaves, husbands and wives, and officers and soldiers alike believed there should be limits to exploitation and saw magic deployed at the junctures where hierarchical order veered into violent excess.
In "The Specter of Salem", Gretchen A. Adams reveals the many ways that the Salem witch trials loomed over the American collective memory from the Revolution to the Civil War and beyond. Schoolbooks in the 1790s, for example, evoked the episode to demonstrate the new nation's progress from a disorderly and brutal past to a rational present, while critics of new religious movements in the 1830s cast them as a return to Salem-era fanaticism, and during the Civil War southerners evoked witch burning to criticize Union tactics. Shedding new light on the many, varied American invocations of Salem, Adams ultimately illuminates the function of collective memories in the life of a nation.
Devil worship, black magic, and witchcraft have long captivated anthropologists as well as the general public. In this volume, Jean La Fontaine explores the intersection of expert and lay understandings of evil and the cultural forms that evil assumes. The chapters touch on public scares about devil-worship, misconceptions about human sacrifice and the use of body parts in healing practices, and mistaken accusations of children practicing witchcraft. Together, these cases demonstrate that comparison is a powerful method of cultural understanding, but warns of the dangers and mistaken conclusions that untrained ideas about other ways of life can lead to.
PrefaceAcknowledgments1. Prelude in Antiquity2. Changing views of the Devil and his power3. The demonization of medieval heretics (1)4. The demonization of medieval heretics (2)5. The crushing of the Knights Templars6. The reality of ritual magic7. Demon-worshipping magicians that never were8. The society of witches that never was9. The night-witch in popular imagination10. How the great witch-hunt did not start11. How the great witch-hunt really started (1)12. How the great witch-hunt really started (2)Note on the IllustrationsBibliographical NotesIndex
While Africa and Madagascar seem like strange and faraway places, the world in which we now live has become much smaller than many of us could ever have imagined. Moreover, even our neighbors visit the local fortuneteller, read the horoscope page in the newspaper, and attend s ances that seek to reach departed friends, lovers, and family members. Consequently, as we begin a journey into faraway places, we may soon find they are not as far away as we may have expected.
from Chapter 3
I Am Not Afraid is Rev. Dr. Robert Bennett's fascinating first-hand account of the spiritual warfare found within the Lutheran Church of Madagascar. Is spiritual warfare something new to the Church? Bennett reviews what the Bible, Church Fathers, and contemporary Lutheran leaders have to say.
Part One includes recent conversations dealing with spiritual warfare, an introduction into the Malagasy Lutheran Church, and the traditional Malagasy worldview. These are the stories of those who have been rescued from the darkness of sin and brought into the light of the Gospel.
Part Two looks to the Bible and the Church for explanation and historical perspective on the spiritual warfare found in the Malagasy Lutheran Church. Is it something only found in the time of Jesus and the apostles? What has the Church said in the past about such activities? Bennett explores the views of Martin Luther and other Lutheran leaders, and finally provides some helpful contemporary material and resources for dealing with spiritual warfare in today's context.
Includes a glossary of key terms, transcripts of personal interviews, bibliography, Scripture index, and subject index.
From the author of the highly acclaimed Wiccan Roots, this is the first full-length biography of Gerald Brosseau Gardner (1884-1964) a very personal tale of the man who single-handedly brought about the revival of witchcraft in England in the mid 20th Century.
From his birth into an old family of wealthy Liverpool merchants, through an unconventional upbringing by his flamboyant governess in the resorts of the Mediterranean and Madeira, it tells how, having taught himself to read, his life was changed by finding a book on spiritualism.
John Van Auken combines the collection of Egyptian past lives found in the Cayce readings with Egyptian legends that appear in papyruses, on temple walls, and in pyramid texts for a complete picture that reveals the full story of priestesses, healers, female pharaohs, and gods among humans. This book includes more than 80 illustrations with Cayce's insights into the pyramids, ancient flight, the Hall of Records, the Great Initiate, and the seven stages of soul growth.
The Book of the Law, the holy text that forms the basis of Thelema, was transmitted to Crowley by the entity known as Aiwass in Cairo, on three successive days during April 1904. Acting as a medium, Crowley recorded the communications on hotel notepads and later organized his automatic writing into a short, coherent document. Aiwass/Crowley presents The Book of the Law as an expression of three god-forms in three chapters: Nuit, Hadit, and Ra-Hoor-Khuit.
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