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DEGREE REGULATIONS & PROGRAMMES OF STUDY 2015/2016

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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : History

Undergraduate Course: The European Witch-Hunt (SCHI10021)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits40 ECTS Credits20
Summary

The age of the Renaissance and Reformation was also the age in which many people throughout Europe, Catholic and Protestant, became convinced that society was threatened by conspiracies of witches. About 50,000 people, mostly lower-class women, were executed. The course delves into intellectual, cultural, political and social history to explain how this happened, and why.
Course description The age of the Renaissance and Reformation was also the age in which many people throughout Europe, Catholic and Protestant, became convinced that society was threatened by conspiracies of witches. About 50,000 people, mostly lower-class women, were executed. The course delves into intellectual, cultural, political and social history to explain how this happened, and why. The two central themes of the course are 'Why believe in witches?' and 'Why hunt witches?'. Witch-belief was an essential precondition of witch-hunting and has to be explained; yet witch-hunting had its own dynamics, for plenty of people believed in witches but did not hunt them. The course incorporates a regional survey of how patterns of witch-hunting varied from country to country, including not only Europe but European colonies in America. There is a more detailed case-study of one country, Scotland, that was particularly notable for witch-hunting. The final section discusses how witch-hunting came to an end, and what happened to witch-beliefs afterwards.

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements A pass in 40 credits of third level historical courses or equivalent.
Before enrolling students on this course, Personal Tutors are asked to contact the History Honours Admission Secretary to ensure that a place is available (Tel: 503767).
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, command of the body of knowledge considered in the course;
  2. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, an ability to read, analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship;
  3. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, an ability to understand, evaluate and utilise a variety of primary source material;
  4. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, the ability to develop and sustain scholarly arguments in oral and written form, by formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence;
  5. demonstrate independence of mind and initiative; intellectual integrity and maturity; an ability to evaluate the work of others, including peers.
Reading List
Bengt Ankarloo and Gustav Henningsen (eds.), Early Modern European Witchcraft: Centres and Peripheries (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990)
Jonathan Barry and Owen Davies (eds.), Palgrave Advances in Witchcraft Historiography (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007)
Wolfgang Behringer, Shaman of Oberstdorf: Chonrad Stoeckhlin and the Phantoms of the Night, trans. H. C. Erik Midelfort (Charlottesville, Va.: University Press of Virginia, 1998)
Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum, Salem Possessed: The Social Origins of Witchcraft (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1974)
Robin Briggs, Witches and Neighbours: The Social and Cultural Context of European Witchcraft (2nd edn., Oxford: Blackwell, 2002)
Stuart Clark, Thinking with Demons: The Idea of Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997)
Norman Cohn, Europe┐s Inner Demons: The Demonization of Christians in Medieval Christendom (rev. edn., Chicago, Ill.: University of Chicago Press, 2000)
Christina Larner, Enemies of God: The Witch-Hunt in Scotland (London: Chatto & Windus, 1981; reprinted Edinburgh: John Donald, 2000)
Brian P. Levack, The Witch-Hunt in Early Modern Europe (3rd edn., London: Longman, 2006)
Brian P. Levack (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe and Colonial America (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013)
Lyndal Roper, Witch Craze: Terror and Fantasy in Baroque Germany (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2004)
Keith Thomas, Religion and the Decline of Magic (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1971)


Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsEurWitch
Contacts
Course organiserDr Julian Goodare
Tel: (0131 6)50 4021
Email: J.Goodare@ed.ac.uk
Course secretaryMiss Clare Guymer
Tel: (0131 6)50 4030
Email: clare.guymer@ed.ac.uk
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