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The Scourge of Demons


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Table of Contents

Nuns, Witchcraft, and the Inquisition Female Religious, Claustration, and Santa Chiara of Carpi The Outbreak and Maleficia The Confessor and Love Magic The Exorcists and the Demons Sisters Dealta and Ippolita under Attack Bellacappa's Defense The Waning of the Possessions

About the Author

JEFFREY R. WATT is the Kelly Gene Cook Sr. Professor of History at the University of Mississippi.


A solid microhistorical study, persuasively arguing that possession and witchcraft were 'cultural phenomena'. [.] The book is a welcome contribution that enhances our knowledge of the less-studied territory of the seventeenth-century activities of the Modenese Inquisition. * CANADIAN JOURNAL OF HISTORY *
Thoroughly examines a compelling case of possession and witchcraft in a wealthy convent in Carpi in the 1630s. [.] The story unfolds gradually with a narrative style, and historiographical debates are smoothly brought into the account. * HISTORIANS OF WOMEN RELIGIOUS OF BRITAIN AND IRELAND *
Absorbing, illuminating and scholarly[...] Watt's gift for historical narrative is remarkable [...] This book is a major contribution to historical understanding of post-Tridentine religious life. It has shifted our perspective and broadened our understanding of female convent life. This book is an exemplar of broad and deep research and careful analysis of the sources. It is a brilliant example of historical narrative. It should be read and admired by scholars, assigned to students and enjoyed by readers interested in early modern European religious and gender studies. * JOURNAL OF CHURCH HISTORY *
This adept study has succeeded in finally placing the nuns' experiences in their full context. Watt has provided an expert and comprehensive study of one important case, presented as a laudably compelling read. * JOURNAL OF ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY *
Whereas the fifteenth- and sixteenth-century records of the Inquisition of Modena have attracted considerable attention, the extensive documentation pertaining to the seventeenth century remains largely unexplored. Watt's analysis of these later records is therefore a timely addition to the burgeoning field of Inquisition studies. -- Tamar Herzig * RENAISSANCE QUARTERLY *
Stimulating and sound [.] a welcome addition to the ever-growing list of studies on the social and religious history of early modern Europe. Recommended. * CHOICE *
An impressive and even exemplary job of archival scholarship that will be of interest to scholars of witchcraft and possession, and of Inquisitorial processes. * SIXTEENTH CENTURY JOURNAL *

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