Witches of the Atlantic World An Historical Reader and Primary Sourcebook

ISBN-10: 0814798519

ISBN-13: 9780814798515

Edition: 2000

Authors: Elaine G. Breslaw

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"This is a useful collection of material on witchcraft." Journal of World History "This is undoubtedly one of the best reference works ever published on witchcraft. Breslaw, fresh from her well-received revisionist historyTituba: Reluctant Witch of Salem, brings together work by some of the best-known scholars of the field, including Elizabeth Reis, Carol Karlsen, John Demos, Paul Boyer,Stephen Nissenbaum and David Hall. She organizes primary sources (including the 1486 manifestoWhy Women Are Chiefly Addicted to Superstitions) and insightful secondary essays around topics of European, Native American and African witchcraft. The anthology is to be applauded for its commitment to representing cultural variance--showing how, for example, indigenous American magical traditions differed greatly from tribe to tribe. Breslaw's awareness of diverse cultural contexts highlights the multiple functions that witchcraft and anti-witchcraft served in individual communities." --Publishers Weekly "...covers a tremendous amount of spatial and temporal ground."Maryland Historical Magazine This unique anthology is the first to provide a multicultural perspective on witchcraft from the 15th to 18th century. Featuring primary documents as well as scholarly interpretations, Witches of the Atlantic Worldbuilds upon information regarding both Christian and non-Christian beliefs about possession and the demonic. Elaine G. Breslaw draws on Native American, African, South American, and African-American sources, as well as the European and New England heritage, to illuminate the ways in which witchcraft in early America was an attempt to understand and control evil and misfortune in the New World. Organized into sections on folklore and magic, diabolical possession, Christian perspectives, and the question of gender, the volume includes selections by Cotton Mather, Matthew Hopkins, and Samuel Willard, among others; Salem trial testimonies; and commentary by a host of distinguished scholars. Together the materials demonstrate how the Protestant and Catholic traditions shaped American concepts, and how multicultural aspects played a key role in the Salem experience.Witches of the Atlantic Worldsheds new light on one of the most perplexing aspects of American history and provides important background for the continued scholarly and popular interest in witches and witchcraft today.
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Book details

List price: $30.00
Copyright year: 2000
Publisher: New York University Press
Publication date: 9/1/2000
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 550
Size: 6.75" wide x 9.75" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 2.420
Language: English

Elaine G. Breslaw retired as Professor of History from Morgan State University in Baltimore after 29 years and has taught on an adjunct basis at Johns Hopkins University, Goucher College, and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She is the author of Tituba, Reluctant Witch of Salem: Devilish Indians and Puritan Fantasies (NYU Press, 1995), Witches of the Atlantic World: An Historical Reader and Primary Sourcebook (NYU Press, 2000), and Dr. Alexander Hamilton and Provincial America: Expanding the Orbit of Scottish Culture.  

Preface and Acknowledgments
Christian Perspectives on Witchcraft in Europe and North America
Primary Sources
The Methods of the Devil
On Witchcraft
The Discovery of Witches: In Answer to Several Queries
On Witches and Witchcraft
The Non-Existent Society of Witches
The Relevance of Social Anthropology to the Historical Study of English Witchcraft
Scottish Witchcraft in Its Comparative Setting
Witchcraft and Puritan Beliefs
A World of Wonders
Non-Christian Beliefs
Europeans and North American Colonists
The Night Battles
The Night-Witch in Popular Imagination
Image Magic and the Like
Divining, Healing, and Destroying
Activities of African Witches
Witchcraft among the Azande
African Americans
Magical Practices and Beliefs
Archaeological Evidence for a Possible Witch in Barbados, West Indies
An Afro-American Folk Religion
American Indians
The Indian Response
Indian Shamans and English Witches
Pueblo Witchcraft
The Medicine Man and the Kanaima
Factions and Exclusions in Two South American Village Systems
Diabolical Possession
Primary Sources
The Possession of Elizabeth Knapp of Groton
Bewitchment of the Goodwin Children
Classic Accusers: The Possessed
Possession and Dispossession
Witchcraft in New England
Witchcraft: The "Captivity to Spectres"
Primary Sources
Why Women Are Chiefly Addicted to Evil Superstitions
The Character of a Virtuous Woman
Two Sermons on Women and the Devil
The Making of the Great Witch-Hunt
The Myth of the Improved Status of Protestant Women: The Case of the Witchcraze
The Devil, the Body, and the Feminine Soul in Puritan New England
Words, Witches, and Woman Trouble
The Economic Basis of Witchcraft
Who Were the Witches?
Salem: A Case Study of the Primary Documents
Legal Procedures
Conjuration and Witches
On the Identification of a Witch
The Accused
Examination of Tituba
Examination of Rebecca Nurse
Examination of Bridget Bishop
Narrative of the Salem Events
The Accusers
Elizabeth Hubbard against Tituba
Abigail Williams against Tituba and Rebecca Nurse
Ann Putnam, Jr., against Rebecca Nurse
Deliverance Hobbs against Bridget Bishop
John Hale against Bridget Bishop
Advice of the Clergy
The Doubters
A Multitude of Errors
The Apology of the Jury
That Sad Catastrophe
Historians' Commentaries on the Salem Case
Witchcraft at Salem Village
Witchcraft, the Courts, and Countermagic
Tituba's Confession: The Multicultural Dimensions of the 1692 Salem Witch-Hunt
Through the Clouds
Medical and Psychological Interpretations
Ergot and the Salem Witchcraft Affair
Ergot, Demonic Possession, and Hallucinogenic Drugs
Underlying Themes in the Witchcraft of Seventeenth-Century New England
The Salem Legacy
Primary Source
An Act against Conjuration, Witchcraft and Dealing with Evil and
Altered Lives
1692: Some New Perspectives
The Invisible World at the Vanishing Point
Magic, Astrology, and the Early American Religious Heritage, 1600-1760
Bibliographic Note
Subject Index
Name Index
About the Editor
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