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    Description

    Why have societies all across the world feared witchcraft? This book delves deeply into its context, beliefs, and origins in Europe's history.

    The witch came to prominence - and often a painful death - in early modern Europe, yet her origins are much more geographically diverse and historically deep. In this landmark book, Ronald Hutton traces witchcraft from the ancient world to the early modern state. This book sets the notorious European witch trials in the widest and deepest possible perspective and traces the major historiographical developments of witchcraft. Hutton, a renowned expert on ancient, medieval, and modern paganism and witchcraft beliefs, combines Anglo-American and continental scholarly approaches to examine attitudes on witchcraft and the treatment of suspected witches across the world, including in Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, Australia, and North and South America, and from ancient pagan times to current interpretations. His fresh anthropological and ethnographical approach focuses on cultural inheritance and change while considering shamanism, folk religion, the range of witch trials, and how the fear of witchcraft might be eradicated.

    ©2017 Ronald Hutton (P)2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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    • Global
      4 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      3 out of 5 stars
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    • Anonymous User
    • 13/09/2017

    A little bit dry, but worth the time.

    I think a hard copy of this book might have been preferable since it would make a great reference source.

    10 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      4 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      4 out of 5 stars
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    • Matthew T Shank
    • 21/09/2018

    Meticulously researched, dry but great.

    The author of this book did their homework. The Witch is thoroughly researched and takes pains to make sure it is as clear and deliberate as possible in its approach to the history of witchcraft. This can lead to the text being a little dull at times. The entire beginning of the book is simply defining terminology, which was hard to get through, but demonstrated the seriousness with which the subject was approached. Though sometimes the writing can be a little dry, the sheer amount of information and detail that is gone into this book made the attention it demands worth it. The book covers many of the now common tropes of witches, searching through history to find their origins. It also covers regional customs and beliefs and the roles they played in shaping the conception of a witch, as well as actual accounts of witch trials throughout history. Occasionally the author will go on detailed but interesting tangents about other magical beliefs that only vaguely relate to witchcraft, for example exploring shamanism in Siberia and Faerie lore in the British Isles. The book is not for a casual listener, but for anyone interested in the history of magic or witches, this book is both information dense and non-biased in it's approach. I highly recommend it.

    9 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      5 out of 5 stars
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    • isisxwear
    • 10/12/2019

    Malicous witchcraft through the ages

    This was an enjoyable book. It makes a reasoned and deep analysis of the causality of the European witch trials of the early modern era. It helped to explain quite a few issues that I have always wondered about. I was familiar with the theory, now debunked, of witchcraft as a continuous secret pagan religion surviving from ancient times (a origin story still popular with Wiccans and followers of Starhawk). According to that theory victims of the witch trials may have been practitioners of a secret and ancient pagan religion that had been passed down witch to witch, usually by a family member. Most common articles you see today of the history of early modern witch trails regard the accused as being totally innocent of practicing witchcraft, instead serving as scape goats for their communities to rid themselves of anti-social marginalized individuals. This view disregards the role of service magicians that exist in every culture regardless of religion, who would have in fact been using magical practices. Those men or women in medieval Europe would have been Christians, though their magical practice may have had some pagan roots in it. In the modern push to disregard the religious views of people of the past, this subtlety has been lost. The idea of the witch as belonging to a satanic cult as a creation of the 15th century is very interesting, especially as that conspiracy seems to have outlived the Christian belief of witches as a threat and gained a new, secular belief. The author does a wonderful job of tying the various ideas of “witch“ together, including the modern western reclaiming of the term in neopagan groups, though the focus of the book is on the specific definition as a malicious magical worker. This is a true testament to the mutability of religious tradition and creativity of the human mind.

    2 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      5 out of 5 stars
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    • Lourens
    • 28/06/2019

    Lovely journey

    I loved the historical journey through time and space with abundant contextualization to form a broad and finer understanding of witchcraft and magical. The tone of language is a pleasure to listen to. The narration is perfect to convey the author’s language - I could not stop listening.

    2 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      5 out of 5 stars
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    • CraftyCat
    • 27/03/2021

    Excellent

    Well researched and presented. A great historical read for everyone that cannot be recommended enough

    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      5 out of 5 stars
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    • Logan
    • 29/10/2020

    complex but don't let that scare you away

    excellent, in-depth book that offers a huge scope without compromising the details of more specific situations. was well performed by the reader