The Witchcraft Reader offers a wide range of historical perspectives on the subject of witchcraft in a single, accessible volume, exploring the enduring hold that it has on human imagination.

The witch trials of the late Middle Ages and the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries have inspired a huge and expanding scholarly literature, as well as an outpouring of popular representations. This fully revised and enlarged third edition brings together many of the best and most important works in the field. It explores the origins of witchcraft prosecutions in learned and popular culture, fears of an imaginary witch cult, the role of religious division and ideas about the Devil, the gendering of suspects, the making of confessions and the decline of witch beliefs. An expanded final section explores the various "revivals" and images of witchcraft that continue to flourish in contemporary Western culture.

Equipped with an extensive introduction that foregrounds significant debates and themes in the study of witchcraft, providing the extracts with a critical context, The Witchcraft Reader is essential reading for anyone with an interest in this fascinating subject.

chapter |15 pages

General introduction

ByDarren Oldridge

part One|4 pages

Medieval origins

chapter Chapter 1|9 pages

Witch Trials in Medieval Europe

ByRichard Kieckhefer

chapter Chapter 2|7 pages

The Demonisation of Medieval Heretics

ByNorman Cohn

chapter Chapter 3|6 pages

Witchcraft and Reform in the Late Middle Ages

ByMichael D. Bailey

chapter Chapter 4|5 pages

The Malleus Maleficarum and the Construction of Witchcraft

ByHans Peter Broedel

chapter Chapter 5|13 pages

Ulrich Molitor and the Imagery of Witchcraft

ByCharles Zika

part Two|4 pages

Witchcraft, magic and fear

chapter Chapter 6|12 pages

The Experience of Bewitchment

ByRobin Briggs

chapter Chapter 7|5 pages

Spirits in Popular Belief

ByEuan Cameron

chapter Chapter 8|5 pages

Witches and Charmers in Scotland

ByJoyce Miller

chapter Chapter 9|6 pages

The Medical Effects of Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe

ByEdward Bever

chapter Chapter 10|13 pages

Weather, Hunger and Fear

Origins of the European witch-hunts in climate, society and mentality
ByWolfgang Behringer

part Three|5 pages

The idea of a witch cult

chapter Chapter 11|7 pages

Margaret Murray’s Witch Cult

ByJacqueline Simpson

chapter Chapter 12|9 pages

Heartland of the Witchcraze

ByH. C. Erik Midelfort

chapter Chapter 13|5 pages

From Dream Cult to Witches’ Sabbath

ByGustav Henningsen

chapter Chapter 14|9 pages

The Alternative World of the Witches’ Sabbat

ByÉva Pócs

chapter Chapter 15|12 pages

Inversion, Misrule and the Meaning of Witchcraft

ByStuart Clark

part Four|5 pages

Witchcraft and the Reformation

chapter Chapter 16|13 pages

Protestant Witchcraft, Catholic Witchcraft

ByStuart Clark

chapter Chapter 17|6 pages

A Lutheran Response to Witchcraft and Magic

ByAlison Rowlands

chapter Chapter 18|11 pages

Anabaptists and the Devil

ByGary K. Waite

part Five|4 pages

Witchcraft and authority

chapter Chapter 19|5 pages

Pierre De Lancre and the Basque Witch-Hunt

ByGerhild Scholz Williams

chapter Chapter 20|14 pages

State-Building and Witch Hunting in Early Modern Europe

ByBrian P. Levack

chapter Chapter 21|7 pages

Witchcraft, Confessionalism and Authority

ByWilliam Monter

part Six|5 pages

Witchcraft, possession and the Devil

chapter Chapter 22|13 pages

The Devil and the German People

ByH. C. Erik Midelfort

chapter Chapter 23|9 pages

The Devil and Familiar Spirits in English Witchcraft

ByCharlotte-Rose Millar

chapter Chapter 24|8 pages

The Social Meanings of Demonic Possession

ByKathleen Sands

chapter Chapter 25|10 pages

Ecstasy, Possession, Witchcraft

BySarah Ferber

chapter Chapter 26|8 pages

Johann Weyer and the Devil

ByElisa Slattery

part Seven|6 pages

Witchcraft and gender

chapter Chapter 27|10 pages

Women and Witchcraft Before the “Great Witch-Hunt”

ByKaren Jones, Michael Zell

chapter Chapter 28|4 pages

The Myth of the Persecuted Female Healer

ByJane P. Davidson

chapter Chapter 29|7 pages

Damned Women in Puritan New England

ByElizabeth Reis

chapter Chapter 30|21 pages

Women, Witnesses and Witches

ByClive Holmes

chapter Chapter 31|14 pages

Masculinity and Male Witches in Old and New England

ByE. J. Kent

part Eight|4 pages

Reading confessions

chapter Chapter 32|6 pages

Witchcraft Confessions and Demonology

ByVirginia Krause

chapter Chapter 33|14 pages

Witches, Wives and Mothers

ByLouise Jackson

chapter Chapter 34|14 pages

Oedipus and the Devil

ByLyndal Roper

part Nine|4 pages

The decline of witchcraft

chapter Chapter 35|8 pages

The Decline of Witchcraft Prosecutions

ByBrian P. Levack

chapter Chapter 36|4 pages

The Decline of the Witchcraft Pamphlet

ByMarion Gibson

chapter Chapter 37|15 pages

Urbanization and the Decline of Witchcraft

An examination of London
ByOwen Davies

chapter Chapter 38|5 pages

Witchcraft After the Witch Trials

ByMarijke Gijswijt-Hofsra

part Ten|7 pages

Witchcraft today

chapter Chapter 39|7 pages

Modern Witches and Their Past

ByDiane Purkiss

chapter Chapter 40|13 pages

Wicca as Witchcraft

ByEthan Doyle White

chapter Chapter 41|5 pages

Witchcraft and Satanic Abuse

ByJean La Fontaine

chapter Chapter 42|8 pages

Harry Potter in America

ByMarion Gibson

chapter Chapter 43|5 pages

Modern Western Images of Witches

ByJulian Goodare