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Sylabus

Magic and witchhunts in early modern Europe

Vyučující:
Typ semináře:B, C
Semestr (Rok):Spring 2014
ANOTACE
Although the course will deal mainly with European witch-hunts, its scope is much wider. It aims at analysing the position of magic in European culture. Early cultural anthropologists (Tylor, Frazer) saw magic as a primitive form of human thought and behaviour which was--in the process of human development--replaced first by religion and later by science. Next generations of scholars however discovered that the relationship between magic, religion and science is much more complex. These categories are intertwined; their boundaries are blurred and overlapping. Yet the European history is marked with regular attempts to define and delineate magic, religion and science as three separate realms of thought and behaviour. The seminar will discuss some of these attempts (which culminated in early modern witch-hunts) and their impact on European culture. It will demonstrate that the changing attitudes towards magic helped to define not only Europe's main religious systems (Judaism, Christianity) but also modern science.

Another broader issue related to European witch-hunts is the 'mechanism of persecution'. How did it happen that the witch-hunts emerged? Why did they start only in the fifteenth century and culminated in the period we associate with the birth of modern Europe? What did trigger the violence and what did it nourish? And also what factors contributed to their end? How can be witch-hunts compared to other 'witch-hunts' (anti-Semitism and Shoa, Communist terror, McCarthism)?
PROGRAM SEMINÁŘE / PŘEDNÁŠKY
Introduction

Magic, religion and science (Mauss)

Holy wizards and Church magic (Gentilcore)

Occult philosophy and Renaissance Magi (Yates)

The possessed of Loudun (de Certau)

Demonological debates (Caro Baroja)

Theory a practice of witchcraft: The magistrates (Clark)

Theory a practice of witchcraft: The bewitched (Sharp)

Theory a practice of witchcraft: The witch (Briggs)

Gender and witchcraft (Roper)

Epilogue: vampirism, folklore, revivals
LITERATURA
Mauss Marcel. 1972. 'The elements of magic: The magician.' In A General Theory of Magic. London: Routlede and Kegan Paul, 44-61.

Caro Baroja, Julio. 1990. 'Witchcraft and Catholic theology.' In Early modern European witchcraft: Centres and peripheries. Edd. B. Ankarloo and G. Henningsen. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 19-43.

Gentilcore, David. 1992. 'The priest: Ecclesiastical remedies and and their variants.' In From bishop to witch: The system of the sacred in the early modern Terra d’Otranto. Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, 94-127.

Yates, Frances A. 1991. 'Cornelius Agrippa’s survey of Renaissance magic.' In Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic tradition. Chicago and London: Chicago University Press, 130-143.

de Certau, Michel. 1999. 'The theatre of the possessed.' In The possesion at Loudun. Transl. M.B. Smith. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 85-108.

Sharp, James. 1999. „Many strange tortures.“ In The bewitching of Anne Gunter: A horrible and true story of football, witchcraft, murder, and the King of England. London: Profile Books, 43-63.

Briggs, Robin. 2002. 'The myth of the perfect witch.' In Witches and neighbours: The social and cultural context of European witchcraft. Second edition. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 12-50.

Clark, Stuart. 1997. 'Magistrates and witches.' In Thinking with demons: The idea of witchcraft in early modern Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 560-571.

and so forth…
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