Authors: Lara Apps and Andrew Gow

In 1997, Stuart Clark published the first monograph since the time of Jules Michelet to focus on pre-modern ideas about witches. The language of belief in witchcraft studies betrays an anachronistic, modernist and dismissive approach to a mental universe quite different from our own. This book makes the male witch visible, to construct him as a historical subject, as a first step toward a deeper understanding of the functions and role of gender in pre-modern European witch-hunting and ideas about witches. The overtly political dimension to the study of witches in early modern Europe demands a high level of consciousness and reflexivity regarding language, representation, and meaning. William Monter provides a wealth of data about male witches, in an 'unremarkable province' close to 'the heart of northern and western Europe'. Here, men comprised the majority of those tried and executed for witchcraft. The book examines cases in which men were accused of witchcraft. The examples are drawn from several different regions, in order to test conventional generalisations about male witches. The agency theory posits that actors always have choices; 'agent-centred' morality proposes a novel twist on both traditional Kantian internalist categories. The problems of both male and female witches' agency and selfhood are discussed. The book also presents data compiled from ten canonical works, and a brief discussion of demonological illustrations. Finally, it addresses the question of what it means to label a man as a witch within a framework that explicitly and implicitly feminised witchcraft.

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Demonological descriptions of male witches
Lara Apps and Andrew Gow

demonological misogyny was (see chapter 1 ’s discussion of Stuart Clark’s views), but the focus on women itself has not been challenged. This is understandable, to a point. There is no denying that the major demonological treatises of the period, both those that advocated witch-hunting and those that opposed it, accepted that most witches were women. For example, in their explanation of why more women than men were

in Male witches in early modern Europe
Open Access (free)
The historian and the male witch
Lara Apps and Andrew Gow

witch is as neglected as his female counterpart’,but is,in this particular study,concerned primarily with the female witch.Despite his knowledge that ‘in some areas men were also at risk to be socially constructed as witches’, de Blécourt dismisses male witches by stating that ‘their witchcraft was usually of a different, less malevolent kind and hardly susceptible to prosecution.’ 42 Stuart Clark’s

in Male witches in early modern Europe
Open Access (free)
The gendering of witchcraft
Lara Apps and Andrew Gow

lends support to Stuart Clark’s argument for a binary structure underlying the gendering of witchcraft; on the other hand, it cautions us against allowing that binary structure to become too rigid to accommodate flexible gender constructions. 1 Ancient and medieval antecedents What did medieval and early modern Europeans think about witches? There was a vast array of ideas, many of them indeed drawn from

in Male witches in early modern Europe
Open Access (free)
Lara Apps and Andrew Gow

especially learned witchcraft theory,and witch-hunting were gender-inclusive, and any scholar who purports to take witches as his or her primary subject would do well to remember this. In the fourth chapter, we introduced the male witch as found in demonological literature. This chapter challenged directly Stuart Clark’s position that male witches were conceptually impossible for early modern witchcraft theorists. We presented data

in Male witches in early modern Europe
Open Access (free)
Lara Apps and Andrew Gow

existed. In 1997, Stuart Clark published the first monograph since the time of Jules Michelet to focus on pre-modern ideas about witches. 1 Clark takes early modern ideas about witchcraft seriously; indeed, he devotes his first chapter to the language of witchcraft and the need to take ‘belief’ seriously as a motivating factor. However, Clark and the scholars beginning to follow his lead have retained the language of belief

in Male witches in early modern Europe
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Witchcraft and the symbolics of hierarchy in late seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century Finland
Raisa Maria Toivo

hierarchy. In Robin Briggs’s view, the sabbath concept can be seen as an anti-fertility rite, representing the opposite of the desirable commonweal.30 In learned demonology, descriptions of Satan, Hell and the activities of witches were characterised by ritual backwardness. The whole cosmic order was inverted, the Devil put in the place of God, and the servants of God on earth – the secular and religious magistrates – displaced. Stuart Clark has linked the notions of the world upside down in learned demonology to a general conception of a polar world, found in many areas

in Beyond the witch trials
Feijoo versus the ‘falsely possessed’ in eighteenth-century Spain
María Tausiet

16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 57 follow those two points, or one of them, according to the hemisphere he sails through . . . will never reach the haven of Truth’ (Teatro Crítico Universal, vol. 1, discourse 1, 5). As Bengt Ankarloo and Stuart Clark maintain, ‘we should not be misled by the language used by the Enlightenment crusaders against witchcraft and magic . . . To believe too much in witchcraft might have some credulous superstition; but to believe too little in it could still carry the risk of atheism.’ See Bengt Ankarloo and Stuart Clark (eds

in Beyond the witch trials
Eric Pudney

sceptic Sextus Empiricus (d. ce 210) extensively. At the same time, Pico was 4 See, for example, Russell, p. 296; Stuart Clark, Thinking with Demons (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997), p. 153; Stephens, Demon Lovers, pp. 30–31. 5 Stephens, Demon Lovers, pp. 61–62. 6 On Bodin, see Popkin, p. 77; John Cotta, The Triall of Witch-craft (London, 1616), pp. 2–3, 41–42. 7 Stephens, Demon Lovers, pp. 127–28. The Canon Episcopi held that the stories of witches were delusions in the sense that they did not happen physically. The stories were not, however, unreal – they

in Scepticism and belief in English witchcraft drama, 1538–1681
Open Access (free)
Eric Pudney

., A Tryal of Witches Held at the Assizes at Bury St. Edmonds (London, 1682), pp. 6–7. See also John Stearne, A Confirmation and Discovery of Witchcraft (London, 1648), p. 19 (these and other examples are briefly discussed in Kittredge, pp. 176–79). 7 Marion Gibson, ‘Understanding Witchcraft? Accusers’ Stories in Print in Early Modern England’, in Languages of Witchcraft, edited by Stuart Clark (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 2001), pp. 41–54 (p. 43). For more detail, see Gibson, Reading Witchcraft (London: Routledge, 1999), pp. 153–56. 4 Scepticism and belief in English

in Scepticism and belief in English witchcraft drama, 1538–1681