Witchcraft and society's attitudes to it haunt the Western imagination to this day, from Central Europe to Britain to North America. This book explores the development of witchcraft and of the belief in it (stressing the difference between the two), the sixteenth and seventeenth century obsession that spawned witch-hunting, the eventual decline of witchcraft, and the phenomenon's fascinating 'afterlife' that has involved the Nazis' fixation and modern treatments including Arthur Miller's acclaimed 'The Crucible'. Fully illustrated with historical documents and colour photographs, and expertly written by Professor David Nash, this book is the perfect introduction to a subject that is compelling, disturbing and a little-understood cultural touchstone.
About the Author
David Nash is Professor of History at Oxford Brookes University and has worked extensively in the area of blasphemy, blasphemous libel and religious crime/law for over fifteen years. He is acknowledged as the world expert in this area. He is a panel member of the Centre for Legal Research and Policy Studies (Oxford Brookes University) and a member of the Academic Board of the Galleries of Justice Museum of Law Punishment and Policing (Nottingham). He has given advice to MPs and gave evidence to the recent House of Lords Select Committee on religious offences. He is currently advising the Irish government about their recently enacted blasphemy law. His most recent monograph is entitled Blasphemy in the Christian World A History (2007) for Oxford University Press which has been widely reviewed and well received. He has also published a textbook on the history of crime in Britain and a monograph on shame in the nineteenth century (both with Anne-Marie Kilday). He has taught aspects of the history of crime and deviance and the history of witchcraft in Britain, Europe and America for eighteen years.