Witchcraft in the Middle Ages by Jeffrey Burton RussellWitchcraft in the Middle Ages by Jeffrey Burton Russell

Witchcraft in the Middle Ages

byJeffrey Burton Russell

Paperback | August 6, 1984

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All the known theories and incidents of witchcraft in Western Europe from the fifth to the fifteenth century are brilliantly set forth in this engaging and comprehensive history. Building on a foundation of newly discovered primary sources and recent secondary interpretations, Jeffrey Burton Russell first establishes the facts and then explains the phenomenon of witchcraft in terms of its social and religious environment, particularly in relation to medieval heresies.

Russell treats European witchcraft as a product of Christianity, grounded in heresy more than in the magic and sorcery that have existed in other societies. Skillfully blending narration with analysis, he shows how social and religious changes nourished the spread of witchcraft until large portions of medieval Europe were in its grip, "from the most illiterate peasant to the most skilled philosopher or scientist." A significant chapter in the history of ideas and their repression is illuminated by this book. Our enduring fascination with the occult gives the author's affirmation that witchcraft arises at times and in areas afflicted with social tensions a special quality of immediacy.

Jeffrey Burton Russell is Professor of History Emeritus at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Title:Witchcraft in the Middle AgesFormat:PaperbackDimensions:394 pages, 8.75 × 5.75 × 0.42 inPublished:August 6, 1984Publisher:Cornell University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0801492890

ISBN - 13:9780801492891

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Table of Contents

1. The Meaning of Witchcraft

2. Witchcraft in History

3. The Transformation of Paganism, 300–700

4. Popular Witchcraft and Heresy, 700–1140

5. Demonology, Catharism, and Witchcraft, 1140–1230

6. Antinomianism, Scholasticism, and the Inquisition, 1230–1300

7. Witchcraft and Rebellion in Medieval Society, 1300–1360

8. The Beginning of the Witch Craze, 1360–1427

9. The Classical Formulation of the Witch Phenomenon, 1427–1486

10. Witchcraft and the Medieval Mind

Appendix: The Canon Episcopi and Its Variations

Theorists of Witchcraft, 1430–1486
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Editorial Reviews

"Russell's contribution will undoubtedly become a standard reference work on witchcraft. It is a clear, straightforward account resting on meticulous textual analysis and comprehensive documentation."—The Review of Books and Religion