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The Malleus Maleficarum and the construction of witchcraft: Theology and popular belief

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ISBN: 9781526137814 Year: Language: English
Publisher: Manchester University Press
Subject: Religion
Added to DOAB on : 2011-11-04 00:00:00
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What was witchcraft? Were witches real? How should witches be identified? How should they be judged? Towards the end of the middle ages these were serious and important questions - and completely new. Between 1430 and 1500, a number of learned 'witch-theorists' attempted to provide the answers to such questions, and of these perhaps the most famous are the Dominican inquisitors Heinrich Institoris and Jacob Sprenger, the authors of the Malleus Maleficarum, or The Hammer of Witches. The Malleus is widely recognised as an important medieval text and is frequently quoted by authors across a wide range of scholarly disciplines. Yet as a source the Malleus presents serious difficulties: it is difficult to understand out of context, and cannot be said to be representative of late medieval learned thinking in general. This, the first book-length study of the original text in English, provides students and scholars with an introduction to this controversial work and to the conceptual world of its authors. Like all witch-theorists, Institoris and Sprenger constructed their witch out of a constellation of pre-existing popular beliefs and learned traditions. Therefore, to understand the Malleus, one must also understand the contemporary and subsequent debates over the reality and nature of witches. Ultimately, this book argues that although the Malleus was a highly idiosyncratic text, with a view of witches very different from that of competing authors, its arguments were powerfully compelling and therefore remained influential long after alternatives were forgotten. Consequently, although focused on a single text, this study has important implications for fifteenth-century witchcraft theory. This is a fascinating work on the Malleus and will be essential to students and academics of late medieval and early modern history, religion and witchcraft studies.

Keywords

maleficarum --- witchcraft --- witches

Witchcraft continued: Popular magic in modern Europe

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ISBN: 9780719066580 Year: DOI: 10.9760/mupoa/9780719066580 Language: English
Publisher: Manchester University Press
Subject: Religion
Added to DOAB on : 2011-11-04 00:00:00
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Witchcraft continued provides an important collection of essays on the nature and understanding of witchcraft and magic in European society over the last two centuries. It innovatively brings together the interests of historians in nineteenth-century witchcraft and the twentieth-century 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 from both above and below. They demonstrate the widespread fear of witches amongst the masses during the nineteenth century, and the continued but more restricted relevance of witchcraft in the twentieth century. 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. Moreover the rise of the folklore movement and the growth of anthropology as an academic discipline over the period provided a huge body of evidence on continuing beliefs that many had consigned to the past. This book will be essential reading for those interested in the continued importance of witchcraft and magic in the modern era. More generally it will appeal to those with a lively interest in the cultural history of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Keywords

transylvania --- folklore --- witchcraft --- witches

Witchcraft narratives in Germany: Rothenburg, 1561-1652

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ISBN: 9780719052590 Year: Language: English
Publisher: Manchester University Press
Subject: History
Added to DOAB on : 2011-11-04 00:00:00
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Given the widespread belief in witchcraft and the existence of laws against such practices, why did witch-trials fail to gain momentum and escalate into 'witch-crazes' in certain parts of early modern Europe? This book answers this question by examining the rich legal records of the German city of Rothenburg ob der Tauber, a city which experienced a very restrained pattern of witch-trials and just one execution for witchcraft between 1561 and 1652. The author explores the factors that explain the absence of a 'witch-craze' in Rothenburg, placing particular emphasis on the interaction of elite and popular priorities in the pursuit (and non-pursuit) of alleged witches at law. By making the witchcraft narratives told by the peasants and townspeople of Rothenburg central to its analysis, the book also explores the social and psychological conflicts that lay behind the making of accusations and confessions of witchcraft. Furthermore, it challenges existing explanations for the gender-bias of witch-trials, and also offers insights into other areas of early modern life, such as experiences of and beliefs about communal conflict, magic, motherhood, childhood and illness. Written in a lively narrative style, this innovative study invites a wide readership to share in the compelling drama of early modern witch trials. It will be essential reading for researchers working in witchcraft studies, as well as those in the wider field of early modern European history.

Keywords

germany --- folklore --- witchcraft --- witches

Scepticism and belief in English witchcraft drama, 1538–1681

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ISBN: 9789198376876 Year: Pages: 360 Language: English
Publisher: Lund University Press
Subject: History --- Languages and Literatures
Added to DOAB on : 2019-03-21 11:21:02
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This book situates witchcraft drama within its cultural and intellectual context, highlighting the centrality of scepticism and belief in witchcraft to the genre. It is argued that these categories are most fruitfully understood not as static and mutually exclusive positions within the debate around witchcraft, but as rhetorical tools used within it. In drama, too, scepticism and belief are vital issues. The psychology of the witch character is characterised by a combination of impious scepticism towards God and credulous belief in the tricks of the witch’s master, the devil. Plays which present plausible depictions of witches typically use scepticism as a support: the witch’s power is subject to important limitations which make it easier to believe. Plays that take witchcraft less seriously present witches with unrestrained power, an excess of belief which ultimately induces scepticism. But scepticism towards witchcraft can become a veneer of rationality concealing other beliefs that pass without sceptical examination. The theatrical representation of witchcraft powerfully demonstrates its uncertain status as a historical and intellectual phenomenon; belief and scepticism in witchcraft drama are always found together, in creative tension with one another.

Realizing the Witch

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ISBN: 9780823274871 Year: Pages: 284 DOI: 10.26530/OAPEN_605860 Language: English
Publisher: Fordham University Press Grant: Knowledge Unlatched
Subject: History
Added to DOAB on : 2016-05-09 11:01:13
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Benjamin Christensen’s Häxan (The Witch, 1922) stands as a singular film within the history of cinema. Deftly weaving contemporary scientific analysis and powerfully staged historical scenes of satanic initiation, confession under torture, possession, and persecution, Häxan creatively blends spectacle and argument to provoke a humanist re-evaluation of witchcraft in European history as well as the contemporary treatment of female “hysterics” and the mentally ill. In Realizing the Witch, Baxstrom and Meyers show how Häxan opens a window onto wider debates in the 1920s regarding the relationship of film to scientific evidence, the evolving study of religion from historical and anthropological perspectives, and the complex relations between popular culture, artistic expression, and concepts in medicine and psychology. Häxan is a film that travels along the winding path of art and science rather than between the narrow division of “documentary” and “fiction.” Baxstrom and Meyers reveal how Christensen’s attempt to tame the irrationality of “the witch” risked validating the very “nonsense” that such an effort sought to master and dispel. Häxan is a notorious, genre-bending, excessive cinematic account of the witch in early modern Europe. Realizing the Witch not only illustrates the underrated importance of the film within the canons of classic cinema, it lays bare the relation of the invisible to that which we cannot prove but nevertheless “know” to be there. This title was made Open Access by libraries from around the world through Knowledge Unlatched.

The Psychosocial Implications of Disney Movies

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ISBN: 9783038978480 / 9783038978497 Year: Pages: 246 DOI: 10.3390/books978-3-03897-849-7 Language: eng
Publisher: MDPI - Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
Subject: Philosophy
Added to DOAB on : 2019-08-28 11:21:27
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In this volume of 15 articles, contributors from a wide range of disciplines present their analyses of Disney movies and Disney music, which are mainstays of popular culture. The power of the Disney brand has heightened the need for academics to question whether Disney’s films and music function as a tool of the Western elite that shapes the views of those less empowered. Given its global reach, how the Walt Disney Company handles the role of race, gender, and sexuality in social structural inequality merits serious reflection according to a number of the articles in the volume. On the other hand, other authors argue that Disney productions can help individuals cope with difficult situations or embrace progressive thinking. The different approaches to the assessment of Disney films as cultural artifacts also vary according to the theoretical perspectives guiding the interpretation of both overt and latent symbolic meaning in the movies. The authors of the 15 articles encourage readers to engage with the material, showcasing a variety of views about the good, the bad, and the best way forward.

Keywords

content analysis --- cultivation --- Disney --- family --- family structure --- family function --- Elsa --- Kristoff --- Olaf --- Marshmallow --- Let it Go --- enchantment --- applause --- engagement ring --- diamond --- gender --- snowmen --- wedding toast --- bullroarer --- fireworks --- witches --- magic --- standing ovation --- fertility --- parthenogenesis --- gender nonconformity --- non-binary --- storms --- family jewels --- snowflake --- feminism --- Moana --- Disney --- music --- colonialism --- imperialism --- appropriation --- Polynesia --- Disney --- EPCOT --- music --- appropriation --- world --- park --- entertainment --- sounds --- cultures --- Disney --- princess --- gender roles --- stereotyping --- children’s media --- death --- children --- Disney --- coping mechanisms --- Africana --- alternative royals --- intersectionality --- matrix of domination --- Disney --- gender --- motherhood --- media criticism --- family roles --- masculinity --- empowered mothering --- Pixar --- Disney --- postfeminism --- masculinity --- gender --- cultural studies --- Dumbo --- Lilo &amp --- Stitch --- Disney --- queer --- mean girls --- boobs and boyfriends --- girl cartoon --- gender --- pink elephants --- commodification --- Walter Benjamin --- diversity --- hegemony --- Disney --- coloniality --- adaptation --- Disney --- gender --- feminism --- political economy of film --- feminist film criticism --- feminist political economy of media --- gender stereotypes --- sexuality --- heroism --- hypermasculinity --- selflessness --- Hercules --- Zeus --- Megara --- Disney --- princess --- prince --- gender roles --- content coding analysis --- children’s media --- Disney --- girls --- beauty --- transnational media --- princess

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