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Author: Leo Igwe

1 Introduction: Witchcraft Accusation in the News Recently, reports on witchcraft accusation have generally been visible in the print and broadcast media in Ghana. These reports highlight cases of allegations not only against men and women but also children. They inform the

In: Secular Studies
Author: Nora Parren

such beliefs is not immediately apparent, and indeed, the accused can suffer horribly, while witchcraft beliefs in a society correlate with other negative social features, including decreased trust and social support (Gershman, 2016). Why then are these beliefs so common, pervasive, and apparently

In: Journal of Cognition and Culture
Among the most important sources for understanding the cultures and systems of thought of ancient Mesopotamia is a large body of magical and medical texts written in the Sumerian and Akkadian languages. An especially significant branch of this literature centers upon witchcraft. Mesopotamian anti-witchcraft rituals and incantations attribute ill-health and misfortune to the magic machinations of witches and prescribe ceremonies, devices, and treatments for dispelling witchcraft, destroying the witch, and protecting and curing the patient. The Corpus of Mesopotamian Anti-Witchcraft Rituals aims to present a reconstruction of this body of texts; it provides critical editions of the relevant rituals and prescriptions based on the study of the cuneiform tablets and fragments recovered from the libraries of ancient Mesopotamia.

In 1853, a mere eight years before the abolition of serfdom in Russia, the Moscow Court of Equity heard a case involving an accusation of witchcraft against the serf Gerasim Fedotov of the village Aleshino in Ruzhsk district. A fellow villager named Lavr Stepanov had instigated the case in 1851

In: Russian History
Author: David T. Ngong

© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2012 DOI: 10.1163/156921012X629367 African and Asian Studies 11 ( 2012 ) 144-181 brill.nl/aas A F R I C A N A N D A S I A N S T U D I E S Stifling the Imagination: A Critique of Anthropological and Religious Normalization of Witchcraft in Africa David T. Ngong

In: African and Asian Studies
Recent witchcraft historiography, particularly where it concerns the gender of the witch-suspect, has been dominated by theories of social conflict in which ordinary people colluded in the persecution of the witch sect. The reconstruction of the Eichstätt persecutions (1590-1631) in this book shows that many witchcraft episodes were imposed exclusively ‘from above’ as part of a programme of Catholic reform. The high proportion of female suspects in these cases resulted from the persecutors’ demonology and their interrogation procedures. The confession narratives forced from the suspects reveal a socially integrated, if gendered, community rather than one in crisis. The book is a reminder that an overemphasis on one interpretation cannot adequately account for the many contexts in which witchcraft episodes occurred.