Malcolm Gaskill's Witchcraft: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short PDF

By Malcolm Gaskill

Witchcraft is a topic that fascinates us all. certainly, from adolescence so much folks enhance a few psychological snapshot of a witch--usually an outdated girl, mysterious and malignant. yet why do witches nonetheless characteristic so seriously in our cultures and awareness? From Halloween superstitions to literary references corresponding to Faust and, in fact, Harry Potter, witches appear ever-present in our lives. during this Very brief creation, Malcolm Gaskill takes an extended historic standpoint, from the traditional international to modern paganism. it is a e-book in regards to the strangeness of the earlier, and approximately contrasts and alter; yet it's additionally approximately affinity and continuity. He finds that witchcraft is multi-faceted, that it has consistently intended various things to assorted humans, and that during all ages it has raised questions on the excellence among myth and fact, religion and evidence. Delving into courtroom files, telling anecdotes, and demanding myths, Gaskill re-examines obtained knowledge, specifically in regards to the ecu witch-hunts of the 16th and 17th centuries. He additionally explores the fashionable reminiscence and reinvention of witchcraft--as historical past, faith, fiction, and metaphor.

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The rebellion was variously referred to as the “Baptist War,” the “Christmas Rebellion,” and the “Myalist War” (Schuler, 1980:34). Rebellions like the Sharpe uprising help us situate the origins, power, and durability of the justice motifs, and they also illustrate the emergent moral economy of Blackness, in particular the confluence of Black identity and religion with ideas about social justice. By the time the Sharpe rebellion occurred, slaves and free Blacks had incorporated the King James Bible into the racial economy of Blackness.

Perhaps with the exception of Prophetess and Ras Brenton, I had to first gain the confidence of my interlocutors before they agreed to talk about their lives. The Rastafari are known for being wary of researchers and using various 12 Introduction means to expose their motives (Yawney, 1999:162). Coming from a powerful and wealthy nation, or being a scholar and researcher, did not impress my narrators. I had no money to pay interviewees, and no connections to help people travel to the States. That I wanted to collect interviews did require repeated explanation and justification.

Another important point to address is the patchy presence of gender in the stories my narrators related to me. Only occasionally did some of my narrators mention gender in their “becoming” stories. This does not mean gender is unimportant, or that gender inequities do not exist. The stories related to me, especially the transformation parts, were typically self-focused. This was interesting to me given the significance many Rastafari males ascribe to themselves in relation to women Rastafari, and the general consensus that the Rastafari are a male-dominated people.

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Witchcraft: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) by Malcolm Gaskill

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