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Europe's inner demons : an enquiry inspired by the great witch-hunt

Author: Norman Cohn
Publisher: New York : Basic Books, [1975]
Series: Columbus Centre series.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Europe's Inner Demons: An Enquiry Inspired by the Great Witch-Hunt is a historical study of the beliefs regarding European witchcraft in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe, with particular reference to the development of the witches' sabbat and its influence on the witch trials in the Early Modern period. Within the book, Cohn argues that there never were any Devil-worshiping witches in Early Modern Europe, and  Read more...
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Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Cohn, Norman, 1915-2007.
Europe's inner demons.
New York : Basic Books, [1975]
(OCoLC)608147530
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Norman Cohn
ISBN: 046502131X 9780465021314
OCLC Number: 1320704
Description: xvi, 302 pages, 4 unnumbered leaves of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm.
Contents: Prelude in antiquity --
The demonization of Medieval heretics (1) --
The demonization of Medieval heretics (2) --
Changing views of the Devil and his powers --
The crushing of the Knights Templars --
The non-existent society of witches --
Three forgeries and another wrong track --
Maleficium before 1300 --
Magician into witch (1) --
Magician into witch (2) --
The night-witch in popular imagination --
The making of the great witch-hunt --
Postscript: Psycho-historical speculations.
Series Title: Columbus Centre series.
Responsibility: Norman Cohn.

Abstract:

Europe's Inner Demons: An Enquiry Inspired by the Great Witch-Hunt is a historical study of the beliefs regarding European witchcraft in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe, with particular reference to the development of the witches' sabbat and its influence on the witch trials in the Early Modern period. Within the book, Cohn argues that there never were any Devil-worshiping witches in Early Modern Europe, and that all of those persecuted for being so were innocent. In this he specifically rejects the Witch-cult hypothesis put forward by English scholar Margaret Murray, which argued that there really had been a witch-cult religion which had been pre-Christian in origin. Cohn notes that accusations of worshiping a beast-headed deity, eating children and committing incest were not new to the witches of Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe, but had originally been leveled at Jews in the first century and then at Christians in the second, before being reused against Christian heretical sects like the Waldensians and the Knights Templar during the Late Medieval.

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