Witch Hunting in Scotland

Witch Hunting in Scotland
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  • ISBN-13: 9780415399432
  • ISBN: 0415399432
  • Edition: 1
  • Publication Date: 2007
  • Publisher: Routledge


Levack, Brian P.


Between the late sixteenth and early eighteenth centuries Scottish courts prosecuted hundreds of women and men for the crime of witchcraft, an offence that involved the alleged practice of maleficent magic and the worship of the devil. Scottish witch-hunts claimed far more victims than the prosecutions that took place in the more heavily populated kingdom of England. Witch-Hunting in Scotland presents a fresh perspective on the trial and execution of these people for inflicting harm on their neighbours and making pacts with the devil. Brian P. Levack draws on law, politics and religion to explain the intensity of Scottish witch-hunting. Topics discussed include the distinctive features of the Scottish criminal justice system, the use of torture to extract confessions, the intersection of witch-hunting with local and national politics, the relationship between state-building and witch-hunting and the role of James VI. Scottish Calvinism and the determination of zealous Scottish clergy and magistrates to achieve a godly society, are also examined as key factors. This original survey combines broad interpretations of the rise and fall of Scottish witchcraft prosecutions with detailed case studies of specific witch-hunts. Throughout, extensive comparisons between Scottish witch-hunts and those that took place in England, New England and continental Europe are made. Witch-Hunting in Scotland makes fascinating reading for anyone with an interest in witchcraft or in the political, legal and religious history of the early modern period.Levack, Brian P. is the author of 'Witch Hunting in Scotland', published 2007 under ISBN 9780415399432 and ISBN 0415399432.

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