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1 Challenging the Paradigm of Witch-Hunt Historiography

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Chapter Summary

How the history of witch-hunts has been represented in scholarly works and textbooks illuminates the pre-requisites and cultural directives which have guided research in the field. This chapter discusses that an understanding of the history and nature of witchcraft and magic is in no way a peripheral question in the intellectual and social history of Europe. A wider lens is needed to encompass the full significance of the geographical issues. People believed to be witches have been condemned everywhere. Even though we have re-evaluated the "Eurocentric" approach or the "western European paradigm", as Marko Nenonen refers to it in his article, that we have not been able to spread the net wider. Byzantine magic, the regions of Eastern Europe in which the Orthodox Churches held sway, the Middle and Far East, Africa and South America, are barely covered in scholarly works.

Keywords: "Eurocentric" approach; Byzantine magic; western European paradigm; witchcraft



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