Emotions in the History of Witchcraft

Bringing together leading historians, anthropologists, and religionists, this volume examines the unbridled passions of witchcraft from the Middle Ages to the present. Witchcraft is an intensely emotional crime, rooted in the belief that envy and spite can cause illness or even death. Witch-trials in turn are emotionally driven by the grief of alleged victims and by the fears of magistrates and demonologists.

Bringing together leading historians, anthropologists, and religionists, this volume examines the unbridled passions of witchcraft from the Middle Ages to the present. Witchcraft is an intensely emotional crime, rooted in the belief that envy and spite can cause illness or even death. Witch-trials in turn are emotionally driven by the grief of alleged victims and by the fears of magistrates and demonologists. 

With examples ranging from Russia to New England, Germany to Cameroon, chapters cover the representation of emotional witches in demonology and art; the gendering of witchcraft as female envy or male rage; witchcraft as a form of bullying and witchcraft accusation as a form of therapy; love magic and demon-lovers; and the affective memorialization of the “Burning Times” among contemporary Pagan feminists. Wide-ranging and methodologically diverse, the book is appropriate for scholars of witchcraft, gender, and emotions; for graduate or undergraduate courses, and for the interested general reader.

Published Year

2016

Page Count

321

ISBN

9781137529022

Author

Laura Kounine (editor),

Michael Ostling (editor)

Publisher

Palgrave Macmillan