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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.

Open Access (free)
The gendering of witchcraft
Lara Apps and Andrew Gow

explained in part by witchcraft theorists’ familiarity with various ancient and medieval prototypes. In this final section, we shall address the question of what it meant, in conceptual terms, to label a man as a witch within a framework that both explicitly and implicitly feminised witchcraft. On one level, the feminisation of witchcraft is obvious. The claims of Nider, Institoris and Sprenger, and de Lancre, among others, that

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

. In chapter 5 , we addressed the question of how early modern Europeans made sense of male witches within a conceptual framework that feminised witchcraft.We argued,first,that the ancient and medieval world provided stereotypes of the male witch. These prototypes were found in traditional ideas about heretics and magicians, which came together in ideas about the Sabbath and demonic agency in magic. Our second argument was

in Male witches in early modern Europe