MALEFICIUM: Witchcraft and Witch Hunting In The West

MALEFICIUM: Witchcraft and Witch Hunting In The West

Gordon Napier    Book Number: 85745    Product format: Hardback

King James VI and first in Daemonologie said, "The fearefull abounding at this time in this countrie, of these detestable slaves of the Devil, the Witches or enchanters, hath moved me to dispatch in post, this following treatise of mine...Such assaults of Satan are most certainly practised, and the instrument thereof merits most severely to be punished." Europe in the 1500s and 1600s was an expanding civilisation, destined to produce the Enlightenment and the Scientific Revolution. Confident mercantile republics and opulent monarchies alike seemed to be flourishing, but it was also a devil-haunted society. Witches and imps were not merely the stuff of stories used by mothers to frighten their children in obedience. Many people believed in a real conspiracy of witches, in league with the cloven-hoofed devil, flying on broomsticks, having familiar spirits and casting harmful spells. People from all classes attributed calamities to malevolent witchcraft and anyone, mostly women, could be suspected of being a witch. Witch hunts flared up, particularly in German lands. Mass persecution culminating in burnings were accepted as acts of faith, justice and collective self-defence. Who were the witch hunters? Where did they get their ideas? Did the witch hunts mask politically motivated persecutions? Were witches a secret society or a surviving shamanic religion? Did initiates induce hallucinations of night-flights and contact with supernatural beings? Does torture and the preconceived notions of the witch hunters account for the inconsistent confessions secured for suspected witches? Witchcraft and demonic possession are key topics both in the destruction of the Templars and the cult of Mary Magdalene. With useful timeline and many woodcut illus, 288pp.
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ISBN 9781445665108
Browse these categories as well: New Age & Occult, History

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