Writing Witch-Hunt Histories

Challenging the Paradigm


This book gives an analytical review of the history of witch-hunt historiography. So far not much attention has been paid to how the European witch-hunts have been studied and explained in some 150 years of academic research on the issue. The history of the approaches and explanations in witch-hunt research fundamentally contributes not only to our understanding of the bizarre phenomenon in European history but also contributes to understanding of cultural as well as academic trends which heavily direct any research even when scholars are not cognisant of their underlying premises. How and why the picture of witch-hunts has been changing in scholarly works and text books is as illuminating an issue as the proper explanations offered by the research works.

Contributors include: Rune Blix Hagen, Ronald Hutton, Gunnar W. Knutsen, Marianna G. Muravyeva, Marko Nenonen, Raisa Maria Toivo, Charles Zika

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Marko Nenonen, Ph.D. (1992) in history, University of Tampere, Finland, is a University Lecturer at the University of Tampere. He has published extensively, incl. several articles in peer-reviewed journals and book compilations. www.markonenonen.net.

Raisa Maria Toivo, Ph.D. (2006) in history, University of Tampere, Finland, is a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Tampere. She is the author of "Witchcraft and Gender in Early Modern Society. Finland and the Wider European Experience" (2008).
List of Charts and Tables
List of Illustrations
List of Maps

Chapter 1. Challenging the Paradigm of Witch-Hunt Historiography (Marko Nenonen and Raisa Maria Toivo)

Chapter 2. The Dubious History of the Witch-Hunts (Marko Nenonen)

Chapter 3. Images and Witchcraft Studies: A Short History (Charles Zika)

Chapter 4. Gender, Sex and Cultures of Trouble in Witchcraft Studies: European Historiography with Special Reference to Finland (Raisa Maria Toivo)

Chapter 5. Russian Witchcraft on Trial: Historiography and Methodology for Studying Russian Witches (Marianna G. Muravyeva)
Chapter 6. Witchcraft and Ethnicity: A Critical Perspective on Sami Shamanism in Seventeenth-Century Northern Norway (Rune Blix Hagen)
Chapter 7. Topics of Persecution: Witchcraft Historiography in the Iberian World (Gunnar W. Knutsen)

Chapter 8. Witchcraft and Modernity (Ronald Hutton)


List of Charts and Tables

Chart 4_1. The number of accused witches and the percentage of male witches in Finland 1540-1699
Table 5_1. Gender of practicing witches in Russia, 1700–1785 (reported cases)
Table 5_2. Witchcraft cases in Russia

List of Illustrations

Cover image: “Still Wordless”, block print by Pirjo Heino, 2009. By courtesy of the artist.
Image 1_1 Wolfgang Behringer, Witches and Witch-Hunts: A Global History. (Cambridge: Polity Press 2004). Cover illustration: The burning of twenty-one witches at Waldsee, 10 June 1587. Zentralbibliothek Zürich.
Image 2_1 H.C. Erik Midelfort, Witch-Hunting in Southwestern Germany 1562-1684. The Social and Intellectual Foundations. (Stanford: Stanford University Press 1972). Cover illustration information not given.
Image 2_2 Bengt Ankarloo and Gustav Henningsen, Häxornas Europa 1400-1700. (Lund: Institutet för rättshistorisk forskning grundat av Gustav och Carin Olin 1987). Cover illustration: Lucas Granach S., The Wild Hunt. Statens museum för kunst i Köbenhavn.
Image 2_3 Seventeenth–century beggar collecting donations for the poor in the church of Hauho, Finland. Photo Ville Vuolanto. By courtesy of the photographer.
Image 3-1 Alan C. Kors and Edward Peters, Witchcraft in Europe 400-1700: A documentary History, 2nd edition (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2001). Cover illustration: Hans Baldung Grien, Witches preparing to depart for the sabbat, woodcut (1510), Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Image 3_2 Grillot de Givry, Witchcraft, Magic & Alchemy, trans. J. Courtenay Locke (New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1971). Cover illustration: The Hermetic Androgyne, colored miniature from a late seventeenth-century German manuscript Dritter Pitagorischer Sinodas von der verborgenen Weisheit, M. Paul Charcornac’s collection.
Image 3_3 Bibliothèque nationale, Les sorcières, Maxime Préaud ed. (Paris: Bibliothèque nationale, 1973). Cover illustration: J. de Gheyn La cuisine des sorcières, N° 41.
Image 3_4 Lyndal Roper, Oedipus & the Devil: Witchcraft, Sexuality and Religion in Early Modern Europe (London and New York: Routledge, 1994). Cover illustration: Hans Baldung Grien, Two Weather Witches, reproduced with the permission of Städelsches Kunstinstitut and Städtische Galerie, Frankfurt am Main. Photograph by courtesy of Ursula Edelman, Artothek.
Image 3_5 Richard van Dülmen, Hexenwelten: Magie und Imagination (Frankfurt am Main: Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, 1987). Cover illustration: Frans Francken d. J. (1581-1642), Der Hexensabbat Öl o.J., Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
Image 3_6 Rita Voltmer and Franz Irsigler eds., Incubi Succubi: Hexen und ihre Henker bis Heute; Ein historisches lesebuch zur Ausstellung (Luxembourg: Musée d’Histoire, 2000). Cover illustration: Schlectwetterhexen, woodcut in Ulrich Molitor, De lamiis et phitonicis malieribus Köln, 1489.
Image 3_7 Claudia Swan, Art, Science, and Witchcraft in Early Modern Holland: Jacques de Gheyn II (1565-1629) (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005). Cover illustration: Jacques de Gheyn II, Insects and Flowers, 1600, Lugt Album, fol. 11r, watercolor and gouache on vellum with traces of silverpoint and chalk. Collection Frits Lugt, Institut Néerlandais, Paris. Photo: Courtesy Institut Néerlandais, Paris.
Image 3_8 Linda C. Hults, The Witch as Muse: Art, Gender, and Power in Early Modern Europe (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005). Cover illustration: Hans Baldung Grien, The Weather Witches, 1523 (detail). Städelsches Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt am Main.
Image 3_9 Charles Zika, The Appearance of Witchcraft: Print and Visual Culture in Sixteenth-Century Europe (London and New York: Routledge, 2007). Cover illustration: The Devil Abducts the Witch of Berkeley and Consigns her to the Fires of Hell, pen and ink, colored, in Wickiana F. 12, fol. 9r. Zentralbibliothek Zurich.
Image 4_1 The devil and two men gossiping. Late medieval mural in the church of Siuntio, Finland. Photo P.O. Welin 1969-1970. Neg. 104074. National Board of Antiquities in Finland.
Image 4_2 Devils and men tending or trading horses. Post 1514 mural in the church of Lohja, Finland. Photo P.O. Welin 1979. Neg. 151813. National Board of Antiquities in Finland.
Image 5_1 The Prophesy Book, XVI century - The Illuminated Chronicles of the XVIth century, Russia (National Library Of Russia, F. 550, F.IV.151, f. 881rev.)
Image 5_2 Baba Iaga rides the pig to fight with a crocodile - Russian wooden painting (lubok), 1766 - from Rovinsky, Russkie narodnye kartinki.
Image 5_3 Feofil - Monk Feofil makes a pact with the Tsar of Demons, Fresco from the Church of Ilyia the Prophet, Yaroslavl', 1715-1716.
Image 6_1 Image "Domen": During the winter of 1662/63 more than thirty women accused of harmful witchcraft, of which some were mere girls, were brought before the court in eastern Finnmark. Of these, nineteen women were found guilty and burned at the stake. Many of the women told the court that they had been celebrating, dancing and drinking with the devil at a mountain called Domen. Domen can be found between the small fishing villages of Kiberg and Vardø. The mountain is about 150 meters high. Water painting by Hans H. Lilienskiold c.1698. By courtesy of the University library of Tromsø.
Image 6_2 A shamanistic drum confiscated from Andreas Poulsen in 1691. Sámiid Vuorká-Dávvirat, De Samiske Samlinger, Karasjok. The photo was first used on page 310 in the book by Hans H. Lilienskiold, Trolldom og Ugudelighet I 1600-tallets Finnmark, Redigert og bearbeidet av Rune Blix Hagen og Per Einar Sparboe, and published by Ravnetrykk, University Library in Tromsø, Tromsø 1998.
Image 6_3 "A Sami shaman playing his drum, and then in trance communicating with his attendant spirit. The missionaries burned the runic drums because they were looked upon as the instruments of the Devil. The shaman's guiding spirit was considered to be an evil demon”. From "En kortt relation om lapparnes lefwarne och sedher, wijdskiepellsser, sampt i många stycken grofwe wildfarellsser”, by Samuele Rheen (1671) - Uppsala : Harald Wretman, 1897. Courtesy of the University library of Tromsø.
Image 7_ Julio Caro Baroja, The World of the Witches. (London: Phoenix Press 2001. First published as Revista de Ociodente by S.a. Madrid 1961.) Cover Illustration: The Fall of the Rebel Angels by Pieter Bruegel /c. 1528-1569), detail. Musée Royaux, Brussels /Photo Scala, Florence.
Image 7_2 Ruth Martin, Witchcraft and the Inquisition in Venice 1550-1650. (Oxford, Blackwell 1989). Cover Illustration: The Fortune Teller by Pietro della Vecchia, reproduced with permission. Photograph: Christie’s London
Image 8_1 Anna-Leena Siikala and Oleg Ulyashev, Hidden Rituals and Public performances. Traditions and Belonging among the Post-Soviet Khanty, Komi and Udmurts. (Helsinki: SKS 2011). Cover illustration: Anna-Lena Siikala, A holy tree in Synya, 2001.

The book is primarily intended at a scholarly audience of historians, sociologists as well as ethnographers and professionals from political and religious studies. Also, the book will be eminently suitable for undergraduate and postgraduate course reading.
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