The Witchcraft Sourcebook: Second Edition

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Brian P. Levack
Routledge, Jun 9, 2015 - History - 390 pages
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The Witchcraft Sourcebook, now in its second edition, is a fascinating collection of documents that illustrates the development of ideas about witchcraft from ancient times to the eighteenth century. Many of the sources come from the period between 1400 and 1750, when more than 100,000 people - most of them women - were prosecuted for witchcraft in Europe and colonial America. During these years the prominent stereotype of the witch as an evil magician and servant of Satan emerged. Catholics and Protestants alike feared that the Devil and his human confederates were destroying Christian society.

Including trial records, demonological treatises and sermons, literary texts, narratives of demonic possession, and artistic depiction of witches, the documents reveal how contemporaries from various periods have perceived alleged witches and their activities. Brian P. Levack shows how notions of witchcraft have changed over time and considers the connection between gender and witchcraft and the nature of the witch's perceived power. This second edition includes an extended section on the witch trials in England, Scotland and New England, fully revised and updated introductions to the sources to include the latest scholarship and a short bibliography at the end of each introduction to guide students in their further reading.

The Sourcebook provides students of the history of witchcraft with a broad range of sources, many of which have been translated into English for the first time, with commentary and background by one of the leading scholars in the field.

 

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Contents

Introduction
1
PART I Witchcraft and magic in the ancient world
5
PART II The medieval foundations of witchhunting
31
PART III Witch beliefs in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries
73
PART IV The trial and punishment of witches
133
PART V Witchcraft trials in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries
191
PART VI Witchcraft trials in England Scotland and New England
241
PART VII Demonic possession and witchcraft
295
PART VIII The skeptical tradition
343
Index
385
Copyright

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About the author (2015)

Brian P. Levack is the John E. Green Regents Professor in History at the University of Texas at Austin. His publications on witchcraft and demonology include The Witch-hunt in Early Modern Europe (3rd edition, 2006); Witch-hunting in Scotland: Law, Politics, and Religion (2008); and The Devil Within: Possession and Exorcism in the Christian West (2013). He has also edited The Oxford Handbook of Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe and Colonial America(2013).

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