Though it is clearly an exceptionally important part of popular culture, witchcraft has generated a variety of often contradictory interpretations, starting from widely differing premises about the nature of witchcraft, its social role and the importance of higher theology as well as more popular beliefs. This work offers a conspectus of historical work on witchcraft in Europe, and shows how many trends converged to form the figure of the witch, and varied from one part of Europe to another.
Introduction 1. Fact and Fantasy: An Overview 2. Shaping the Image: The Malleus Tradition and its Critics 3. Magic and Maleficium 4. Heresy and the Diabolical Cult 5. Paganism and Popular Religion 6. Gender, Sex and Misogyny: I 7. Gender, Sex and Misogyny: II 8. Ideology and Authority: The Establishment and Witch Hunting 9. The Law, Torture and Trial 10. Defamation, Deception and Corruption 11. Motivation and the Village Community I, The Witch 12. Motivation and the Village Community II, Victims and Accusers 13. Dreams, Drugs and Madness: Conclusion. Select Bibliography. Index.
Routledge Library Editions: Witchcraft re-issues eight volumes originally published between 1929 and 1977 and sheds fascinating light on the history, anthropological, religious and mythological contexts of witchcraft in the UK and Europe, including several volumes which focus specifically on the witch-hunts and trials of Early Modern Europe.