The Witchcraft Reader
Edited by Darren Oldridge
Routledge – 2008 – 424 pages
Series: Routledge Readers in History
The Witchcraft Reader draws together the best historical writing on the subject, exploring the origins and consequences of the fear of witches. The Reader traces the development of witch beliefs in the late Middle Ages, the social and political dynamics of witch-hunts in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and the continuing relevance of the subject today.
This second edition has been extensively revised and updated to include important new research in the field. There are expanded sections on witchcraft in the Middle Ages and the role of gender in witch trials, as well as new work on demonic possession and the decline and survival of witch beliefs. The major themes and debates in the study of witchcraft are brought together in a general introduction, which places the extracts in a critical context and each extract has an introduction which contextualizes its author.
The Witchcraft Reader offers a wide range of historical perspectives in a single, accessible volume aimed at anyone intrigued by this complex and fascinating subject.
'Good value for money and very highly recommended' – The Cauldron
General Introduction 1. Medieval Origins 2. Witchcraft, Magic and Fear 3. The Idea of a Witch Cult 4. Witchcraft and the Reformation 5. Witchcraft and Authority 6. Witchcraft, Possession and the Devil 7. Witchcraft and Gender 8. Reading Confessions 9. The Decline of Witchcraft 10. Witchcraft Today
Darren Oldridge is Lecturer in History at the University of Worcester. He has published extensively on religion and belief in the early modern period, and his most recent book is Strange Histories: The Trial of the Pig, the Walking Dead, and Other Matters of Fact from the Medieval and Renaissance Worlds (Routledge, 2005).