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Beyond the witch trials

Witchcraft and magic in Enlightenment Europe

Edited by: Owen Davies and Willem de Blécourt

This book looks at aspects of the continuation of witchcraft and magic in Europe from the last of the secular and ecclesiastical trials during the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, through to the nineteenth century. It provides a brief outline of witch trials in late seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century Finland. By the second half of the seventeenth century, as the witch trials reached their climax in Sweden, belief in the interventionist powers of the Devil had become a major preoccupation of the educated classes. Having acknowledged the slight possibility of real possession by the Devil, Benito Feijoo threw himself wholeheartedly into his real objective: to expose the falseness of the majority of the possessed. The book is concerned with accusations of magic, which were formalised as denunciations heard by the Inquisition of the Archdiocese of Capua, a city twelve miles north of Naples, during the first half of the eighteenth century. One aspect of the study of witchcraft and magic, which has not yet been absorbed into the main stream of literature on the subject, is the archaeological record of the subject. As a part of the increasing interest in 'popular' culture, historians have become more conscious of the presence of witchcraft after the witch trials. The aftermath of the major witch trials in Dalarna, Sweden, demonstrates how the authorities began the awkward process of divorcing themselves from popular concerns and beliefs regarding witchcraft.

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Post-Humanitarianism

Governing Precarity through Adaptive Design

Mark Duffield

permanently enrolled in prototyping the technologies that govern them ( Duffield, 2018 ). Eliminating Professionals From the outset, the aim of cybernetics was to exclude human beliefs, motivations and intentions from the development of the human–machine interface ( Halpern, 2014 ). Now a defining feature of late-modernity, this exclusion shaped early computer programming. Politically, it found a reflection in the counter-cultural anticipation of artificial intelligence as a means of undermining the professional hierarchies of

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Witchcraft Continued

Popular magic in modern Europe

Edited by: Willem de Blécourt and Owen Davies

The study of witchcraft accusations in Europe during the period after the end of the witch trials is still in its infancy. Witches were scratched in England, swum in Germany, beaten in the Netherlands and shot in France. The continued widespread belief in witchcraft and magic in nineteenth- and twentieth-century France has received considerable academic attention. The book discusses the extent and nature of witchcraft accusations in the period and provides a general survey of the published work on the subject for an English audience. It explores the presence of magical elements in everyday life during the modern period in Spain. The book provides a general overview of vernacular magical beliefs and practices in Italy from the time of unification to the present, with particular attention to how these traditions have been studied. By functioning as mechanisms of social ethos and control, narratives of magical harm were assured a place at the very heart of rural Finnish social dynamics into the twentieth century. The book draws upon over 300 narratives recorded in rural Finland in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries that provide information concerning the social relations, tensions and strategies that framed sorcery and the counter-magic employed against it. It is concerned with a special form of witchcraft that is practised only amongst Hungarians living in Transylvania.

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Sabina Magliocco

popularbelief or religion. But as Leonard Primiano notes, these terminologies presuppose the existence of a hierarchical, dualistic system in which ‘official’ religion or belief, sanctioned and adopted by the hegemony, has primacy over ‘folk’, ‘popular’ and ‘unofficial’ systems, which are then viewed as inferior or illegitimate. 1 According to Primiano, the assumption that such practices exist separate from hegemonic practices is inaccurate, since

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Owen Davies

present a rather static impression of popular belief over the century. 1 As well as these book-length studies, there are several articles by French historians that have made use of the criminal records of the period. Marie-Claude Denier has examined several late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century trials concerning unbewitching in Mayenne, a département in north-western France. Jean-Claude Sebban has analysed twenty-three trials involving

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Robert Mackay

in 1935 in its initiative to create, at least in ‘shadow’ form, a Ministry of Information, charged with the task of maintaining morale. And we saw how, when war came, the duly established Ministry entirely failed to fulfil its brief, instead incurring public ridicule and earning for itself the unflattering sobriquet of ‘Ministry of Disinformation’.1 Over the course of the war, however, the Government learned from experience. The simplistic notions about communications and popular morale with which it began the war, symbolized by the closure of cinemas and

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Introduction

Beyond the witch trials

Owen Davies and Willem de Blécourt

decades of intermittent prosecution before decriminalisation, the debates that followed in the decade or so after, and to recognise the continued enactment of popular justice against suspected witches.1 Several collections of essays with an early modern focus have conscientiously included contributions concerning the continued belief in witchcraft and magic.2 Ronald Hutton, an eminent historian of early modern England has, in recent publications concerning paganism, contemporary witchcraft and shamanism, shown how skilled historians can apply their craft and range of

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The devil’s power to delude

Elite beliefs about witchcraft and magic

Series:

Alison Rowlands

2 The devil’s power to delude: elite beliefs about witchcraft and magic The Rothenburg elites have left us few personal testimonies of their beliefs about witchcraft and magic during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. No record of council meetings was kept in Rothenburg until 1664, when popular pressure for greater openness forced the councillors to lift the shroud of secrecy from their gatherings. However, even after 1664 the meeting minutes recorded only the decisions made by the council and not the deliberations by which they were reached. The often

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Thomas J. Butko

I N THE MIDDLE East, security is strongly influenced by politicized forms of fundamental belief systems. This chapter examines the dual role of political Islam, with specific focus on Palestine and the case of Hamas , the Islamic Resistance Movement, in the West Bank and Gaza. In this context, political Islam represents a general rejection of the Arab

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Alison Rowlands

peasants and townspeople. Through them we can explore communal and domestic disharmony; perceptions of honour; experiences of motherhood, childhood, marriage, illness and war; and beliefs about magic and religion, as well as obtaining a vivid sense of the lives and personalities of individuals about whom historical records are usually silent because of their gender, age and low social status. This book is organised around the following themes. Chapter 1 explores popular speech about witchcraft, explains why the inhabitants of Rothenburg and its hinterland were generally