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Sunday, April 23, 2006

Top 10 Books On Witch Persecutions

James Morrow is the author of The Last Witchfinder, an historical novel about the birth of the scientific worldview, centred around one woman's audacious crusade to bring down the Parliamentary Witchcraft Act of 1604.

"We tend to regard belief in witches as a rather low order of credulity, something belonging to the medieval period or perhaps even the dark ages. The startling and instructive fact is that demonology overlaps and to some degree participates in modernity.

The Witchcraft Statute of James I remained on the books until 1736. Several prominent members of the Royal Society, including Henry More and Joseph Glanvill, believed wholeheartedly in witchcraft, and even Robert Boyle speculated that the famous démon de Mâcon affair might have proved the reality of evil spirits. Add to this the bedeviling circumstance that the various "proofs" of Satanic compact - swimming the witch, pricking her imp-teats - boasted a certain weird Aristotelian logic, and we can begin to understand why the legal extermination of alleged Satanists lasted nearly three centuries." Full Story

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