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The A to Z of Witchcraft


The A to Z of Witchcraft Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A great deal has been written about the history of witchcraft, but much of what has been written is unreliable, exaggerated, or inaccurate. This problem is especially acute in regard to modern witchcraft, or Wicca, and its supposed connections to historical witchcraft in medieval and early modern Europe. The A to Z of Witchcraft provides a reliable reference source for both academics and general readers interested in the actual historical development of witchcraft in the western world. The focus of the dictionary is on Western Europe during the late-medieval and early modern periods, when the specific idea of diabolical witchcraft developed and when the so-called _great witch-hunts_ occurred. Entries are also provided that deal with magic and witchcraft in the earlier Christian period and classical antiquity, as well as with the lingering belief in witchcraft in the modern world, and with the development of the modern, neo-pagan religion of witchcraft, also known as Wicca. For comparative purposes, some entries have been provided that deal with aspects and systems of magic found in other parts of the world that seem to bear some relation to the idea of witchcraft as it developed in Christian Europe. The regions dealt with are mainly Africa, along with such New-World practices as Voodoo and Santeria. Entries in the dictionary cover important people in the history of witchcraft, from the medieval inquisitors and early modern magistrates who developed the stereotype of the historical witch to the modern individuals who have developed the religion of Wicca. Also included are legal terms and concepts important to the prosecution of the supposed crime of witchcraft, and religious and theological concepts pertaining to the demonic elements that came to be associated with witchcraft, as well as more popular beliefs and aspects of common folklore and mythology that became attached to the developing idea of witchcraft. Geographic entries are also included, discussing the scope of witch-hunting in various regions of Europe and the world, and describing specific examples of major witch-hunts such as those that occurred in Salem, Massachusetts.

Book News Annotation:

A reprint from 2003, this dictionary for academics and general readers contains entries on the history of witchcraft. Focusing on Western Europe during the late medieval and early modern periods, Bailey (history, Iowa State U.) explains terminology, people, legal terms and concepts relating to the prosecution of witchcraft, religious and theological concepts, the role of women, popular beliefs and aspects of common folklore and mythology, places, and specific witch-hunts, as well as magic and witchcraft in the early Christian period and the modern world, and the development of Wicca. Aspects and systems of magic found around the world, such as Africa, and the New World practices of Voodoo and Santería, are included. Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

Bailey, Michael
Scarecrow Press
Witchcraft & Wicca
Metaphysics-Wicca and Goddess Worship
Edition Description:
Scarecrow Press
A to Z Guides
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
8.40x5.40x.60 in. .80 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Music » General
Metaphysics » Magic Witchcraft and Paganism
Metaphysics » Wicca and Goddess Worship
Religion » Comparative Religion » Reference

The A to Z of Witchcraft New Trade Paper
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Product details 199 pages Scarecrow Press, Inc. - English 9780810868649 Reviews:
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