Course Name: REL409 A History of Witchcraft: Popular Culture, Folk Magic, and Religious Reform in Europe in the 14th - 17th Centuries - FALL ONLY
Description: The first part of the course examines the phenomenon of witchcraft from its intellectual roots in the early Renaissance to the political and religious persecutions of the Reformation period. The second half of the course takes a "grassroots" look at the role of popular magic and witchcraft in the village context and at the actual beliefs/self-perceptions of the people who called themselves (and others) witches. Concludes with an examination of the changes (scientific revolution, rise in secular attitudes within the elite, new tolerance for religious pluralism, etc.) that led to the rapid decline of witch trials. Limited enrollment; preference will be given to students for whom this course counts toward their major. Cross-listed with ANT/HST/WGS 409.