Monday, June 4, 2012

Ten of the best books on witch persecutions

James Morrow is the Nebula award-winning author of stories and novels, including The Last Witchfinder and The Philosopher’s Apprentice.

In 2006 he named a top ten list of books on witch persecutions for the Guardian. One title on the list:
Thinking with Demons by Stuart Clark (1997)

Stuart Clark's monumental tome defies easy categorisation, but if forced to apply a label, I would call it a social constructivist account of the "witch universe". The author cheerily deprives the reader of any cosy post-Enlightenment notions that the ascent of science automatically spelled the doom of demonology. Cartesian mechanical philosophy not only allowed that evil spirits might exist, it practically required the world to harbor such entities. Clark clarifies that witchcraft was never regarded as "miraculous" phenomenon. An enchantress was simply somebody who had successfully petitioned Satan to manipulate the laws of nature on her behalf.
Read about the other entries on Morrow's list.

Visit James Morrow's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: The Philosopher’s Apprentice.

--Marshal Zeringue