Thursday, December 8, 2011

Witchcraft Continued: Popular Magic in Modern Europe by Willem De Blécourt, Owen Davies




Witchcraft Continued provides an important collection of essays on the nature and understanding of witchcraft in European society over the last two centuries. It innovatively brings together the interests of historians with the fieldwork of anthropologists and sociologists on the continued relevance of witch beliefs. The book covers England, The Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Germany, France, Finland, Transylvania and Northern Ireland. It examines the experience of and attitudes towards witchcraft, demonstrating the widespread fear of witches among the masses during the nineteenth century, and the more restricted relevance of witchcraft in the twentieth century, along with the rise of the folklore movement. While the educated classes generally denounced witch-believers as either superstitious, foolish or both, secular and religious authorities still had to find strategies of dealing with the demands of those who believed themselves the victims of witchcraft.
















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