Witches of the Atlantic World An Historical Reader & Primary Sourcebook

Witches of the Atlantic World An Historical Reader & Primary Sourcebook
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  • ISBN-13: 9780814798515
  • ISBN: 0814798519
  • Publication Date: 2000
  • Publisher: New York Univ Pr


Breslaw, Elaine G.


"This is a useful collection of material on witchcraft." --Journal of World History "This is undoubtedly one of the best reference works ever published on witchcraft. Breslaw, fresh from her well-received revisionist historyTituba: Reluctant Witch of Salem, brings together work by some of the best-known scholars of the field, including Elizabeth Reis, Carol Karlsen, John Demos, Paul Boyer,Stephen Nissenbaum and David Hall. She organizes primary sources (including the 1486 manifestoWhy Women Are Chiefly Addicted to Superstitions) and insightful secondary essays around topics of European, Native American and African witchcraft. The anthology is to be applauded for its commitment to representing cultural variance--showing how, for example, indigenous American magical traditions differed greatly from tribe to tribe. Breslaw's awareness of diverse cultural contexts highlights the multiple functions that witchcraft and anti-witchcraft served in individual communities." --Publishers Weekly"...covers a tremendous amount of spatial and temporal ground."--Maryland Historical MagazineThis unique anthology is the first to provide a multicultural perspective on witchcraft from the 15th to 18th century. Featuring primary documents as well as scholarly interpretations, Witches of the Atlantic Worldbuilds upon information regarding both Christian and non-Christian beliefs about possession and the demonic. Elaine G. Breslaw draws on Native American, African, South American, and African-American sources, as well as the European and New England heritage, to illuminate the ways in which witchcraft in early America was an attempt to understand and control evil and misfortune in the New World.Organized into sections on folklore and magic, diabolical possession, Christian perspectives, and the question of gender, the volume includes selections by Cotton Mather, Matthew Hopkins, and Samuel Willard, among others; Salem trial testimonies; and commentary by a host of distinguished scholars.Together the materials demonstrate how the Protestant and Catholic traditions shaped American concepts, and how multicultural aspects played a key role in the Salem experience.Witches of the Atlantic Worldsheds new light on one of the most perplexing aspects of American history and provides important background for the continued scholarly and popular interest in witches and witchcraft today.Breslaw, Elaine G. is the author of 'Witches of the Atlantic World An Historical Reader & Primary Sourcebook', published 2000 under ISBN 9780814798515 and ISBN 0814798519.

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