witchcraft a very short introduction very short introductions

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Witchcraft A Very Short Introduction

Author : Malcolm Gaskill
ISBN : 9780191613685
Genre : Body, Mind & Spirit
File Size : 77. 8 MB
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Witchcraft is a subject that fascinates us all, and everyone knows what a witch is - or do they? From childhood most of us develop a sense of the mysterious, malign person, usually an old woman. Historically, too, we recognize witch-hunting as a feature of pre-modern societies. But why do witches still feature so heavily in our cultures and consciousness? From Halloween to superstitions, and literary references such as Faust and even Harry Potter, witches still feature heavily in our society. In this Very Short Introduction Malcolm Gaskill challenges all of this, and argues that what we think we know is, in fact, wrong. Taking a historical perspective from the ancient world to contemporary paganism, Gaskill reveals how witchcraft has meant different things to different people and that in every age it has raised questions about the distinction between fantasy and reality, faith and proof. Telling stories, delving into court records, and challenging myths, Gaskill examines the witch-hunts of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and explores the reinvention of witchcraft - as history, religion, fiction, and metaphor. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Magic A Very Short Introduction

Author : Owen Davies
ISBN : 9780199588022
Genre : History
File Size : 21. 93 MB
Format : PDF
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A wide-ranging overview of how magic has been defined, understood and practiced over the millennia introduces it in today's world as a real force that helps people overcome misfortune, poverty and illness. By the author of Grimoires: A History of Magic Books. Original.

Paganism A Very Short Introduction

Author : Owen Davies
ISBN : 9780191620010
Genre : Religion
File Size : 28. 14 MB
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'Paganism' is an evocative word that, even today, conjures up deep-seated emotions and prejudices. Until recently, it was primarily a derogatory term used by Christians to describe the non-Christian cultures confronted and vanquished by their Churches. For some it evokes images of sacrifice and barbaric behaviour, while for others it symbolises a peace-loving, nature-worshipping spiritual relationship with the earth. This Very Short Introduction explores the meaning of paganism - through a chronological overview of the attitudes towards its practices and beliefs - from the ancient world through to the present day. Owen Davies largely looks at paganism through the eyes of the Christian world, and how, over the centuries, notions and representations of its nature were shaped by religious conflict, power struggles, colonialism, and scholarship. Despite the expansion of Christianity and Islam, Pagan cultures continue to exist around the world, whilst in the West new formations of paganism constitute one of the fastest-growing religions. Focussing on paganism in Europe, but exploring the nature of paganism globally, Davies looks at how Europeans discovered new cultures through colonial expansion, missionary work, and anthropological study. Contemporary social paganism can be a liberating and social force, and the idea of a global Pagan theology is now on the religious map. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

The Devil A Very Short Introduction

Author : Darren Oldridge
ISBN : 9780199580996
Genre : Religion
File Size : 47. 19 MB
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The Devil has fascinated writers and theologians since the time of the New Testament, and inspired many dramatic and haunting works of art. Today he remains a potent image in popular culture. The Devil: A Very Short Introduction presents an introduction to the Christian Devil through the history of ideas and the lives of real people.

American History

Author : Paul S. Boyer
ISBN : 9780195389142
Genre : History
File Size : 41. 91 MB
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This volume in Oxford's A Very Short Introduction series offers a concise, readable narrative of the vast span of American history, from the earliest human migrations to the early twenty-first century when the United States loomed as a global power and comprised a complex multi-cultural society of more than 300 million people. The narrative is organized around major interpretive themes, with facts and dates introduced as needed to illustrate these themes. The emphasis throughout is on clarity and accessibility to the interested non-specialist.

Puritanism A Very Short Introduction

Author : Francis J. Bremer
ISBN : 0199740879
Genre : Religion
File Size : 20. 65 MB
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Written by a leading expert on the Puritans, this brief, informative volume offers a wealth of background on this key religious movement. This book traces the shaping, triumph, and decline of the Puritan world, while also examining the role of religion in the shaping of American society and the role of the Puritan legacy in American history. Francis J. Bremer discusses the rise of Puritanism in the English Reformation, the struggle of the reformers to purge what they viewed as the corruptions of Roman Catholicism from the Elizabethan church, and the struggle with the Stuart monarchs that led to a brief Puritan triumph under Oliver Cromwell. It also examines the effort of Puritans who left England to establish a godly kingdom in America. Bremer examines puritan theology, views on family and community, their beliefs about the proper relationship between religion and public life, the limits of toleration, the balance between individual rights and one's obligation to others, and the extent to which public character should be shaped by private religious belief. About the Series: Combining authority with wit, accessibility, and style, Very Short Introductions offer an introduction to some of life's most interesting topics. Written by experts for the newcomer, they demonstrate the finest contemporary thinking about the central problems and issues in hundreds of key topics, from philosophy to Freud, quantum theory to Islam.

Fairy Tale

Author : Marina Warner
ISBN : 9780199532155
Genre : Fiction
File Size : 56. 86 MB
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From wicked queens, beautiful princesses, elves, monsters, and goblins, to giants, glass slippers, poisoned apples, magic keys, and mirrors, the characters and images of fairy tales have cast a spell over readers and audiences, both adults and children, for centuries. These fantastic stories have traveled across cultural borders, and been passed on from generation to generation, ever-changing, renewed with each re-telling. Few forms of literature have greater power to enchant us and rekindle our imagination than a fairy tale. But what is a fairy tale? Where do they come from and what do they mean? What do they try and communicate to us about morality, sexuality, and society? The range of fairy tales stretches across great distances and time; their history is entangled with folklore and myth, and their inspiration draws on ideas about nature and the supernatural, imagination and fantasy, psychoanalysis and feminism. In this Very Short Introduction, Marina Warner digs into a rich hoard of fairy tales in all their brilliant and fantastical variations, in order to define a genre and evaluate a literary form that keeps shifting through time and history. Drawing on a glittering array of examples, from classics such as Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, and The Sleeping Beauty, the Grimm Brothers' Hansel and Gretel, and Hans Andersen's The Little Mermaid, to modern-day realizations including Walt Disney's Snow White, Warner forms a persuasive case for fairy tale as a crucial repository of human understanding and culture. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

African Religions

Author : Jacob K. Olupona
ISBN : 9780199790586
Genre : History
File Size : 46. 16 MB
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What are African religions? African Religions: A Very Short Introduction answers this question by examining primarily indigenous religious traditions on the African continent. It focuses on the diversity of people, ethnic groups, languages, cultures, ethos, and worldviews, keeping in mind the continent's regional diversity. Using a multidisciplinary methodological approach, Olupona examines a wide range of African religious traditions on their own terms as well as in their pluralistic social, cultural, and political contexts. Cultural and postcolonial interpretive frameworks benefit the discussion. For example, the book moves beyond ethnographic descriptions and interpretations of core beliefs and practices to look at how African religion has engaged issues of socioeconomic development and power relations. Sources for this book include archaeological and historical references. Additionally, Olupona uses ethnographic materials based on fieldwork collected through interviewsand participant observation, along with archival materials, including missionary records, which describe African religious practices. Though the emphasis is on native faith traditions, these are not static traditions. African religions have responded to changes within their local communities and to fluxes caused by outside influences. About the Series: Oxford's Very Short Introductions series offers concise and original introductions to a wide range of subjects - from Islam to Sociology,Politics to Classics, Literary Theory to History, and Archaeology to the Bible. Not simply a textbook of definitions, each volume in this series provides trenchant and provocative - yet always balanced and complete - discussions of the central issues in a given discipline or field. Every Very Short Introduction gives a readable evolution of the subject in question, demonstrating how the subject has developed and how it has influenced society. Eventually, the series will encompass every major academic discipline, offering all students an accessible and abundant reference library. Whatever the area of study that one deems important or appealing, whatever the topic that fascinates the general reader, the Very Short Introductions series has a handy and affordable guide that will likely prove indispensable.

The Reformation A Very Short Introduction

Author : Peter Marshall
ISBN : 9780191578885
Genre : Religion
File Size : 79. 25 MB
Format : PDF
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The Reformation transformed Europe, and left an indelible mark on the modern world. It began as an argument about what Christians needed to do to be saved, but rapidly engulfed society in a series of fundamental changes. This Very Short Introduction provides a lively and up-to-date guide to the process. It explains doctrinal debates in a clear and non-technical way, but is equally concerned to demonstrate the effects the Reformation had on politics, society, art, and minorities. Peter Marshall argues that the Reformation was not a solely European phenomenon, but that varieties of faith exported from Europe transformed Christianity into a truly world religion. The complex legacy of the Reformation is also assessed; its religious fervour produced remarkable stories of sanctity and heroism, and some extraordinary artistic achievements, but violence, holy war, and martyrdom were equally its products. A paradox of the Reformation - that it intensified intolerance while establishing pluralism - is one we still wrestle with today. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

French Literature A Very Short Introduction

Author : John D. Lyons
ISBN : 9780191614231
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 55. 85 MB
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The heritage of literature in the French language is rich, varied, and extensive in time and space; appealing both to its immediate public, readers of French, and also to a global audience reached through translations and film adaptations. The first great works of this repertory were written in the twelfth century in northern France, and now, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, include authors writing in many parts of the world, ranging from the Caribbean to Western Africa. French Literature: A Very Short Introduction introduces this lively literary world by focusing on texts - epics, novels, plays, poems, and screenplays - that concern protagonists whose adventures and conflicts reveal shifts in literary and social practices. From the hero of the medieval Song of Roland to the Caribbean heroines of I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem or the European expatriate in Japan in Fear and Trembling, these problematic protagonists allow us to understand what interests writers and readers across the wide world of French. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

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