Contents: Introduction: history and the sense of surprise; Part I The Historiography of Witchcraft: Witchcraft, magic and the occult; Witchcraft. Part II Demons and Witchcraft: Were there really witches?; Catholic and Lutheran reactions to demonic possession in the late 17th century: two case histories; Witch craze? Beyond the legends of panic. Part III The German Reformation and German Religious History: Toward a social history of ideas in the German Reformation; Social history and the Biblical exegesis: community, family and witchcraft in 16th-century Germany; The Reformation and the early social sciences (Marx, Weber, Durkheim, Freud): toward a cultural epidemiology; The worst book in the world. Part IV German Nobles: Curious Georgics: the German nobility and their crisis of legitimacy in the late 16th century; The Reformation and the German nobility. Part V Historical Psychology and the Problem of Madness: Madness and civilization in early modern Europe: a reappraisal of Michel Foucault; Reading and believing. On the reappraisal of Michel Foucault; Madness and the millennium at Munster, 1534-1535; Charcot, Freud and the demons; Index.
H.C. Erik Midelfort is Professor Emeritus at the University of Virginia, USA.
'This collection is an effective means of making more accessible some fine work by an eminent historian.' Sixteenth Century Journal '... this collection highlights many of the recent trends and developments in the study of early modern German history, especially the social history of ideas. It demonstrates the role that H.C. Erik Midelfort has played in this historiographical discourse in the last forty years by bringing together a variety of his articles in one neat volume.' German History '... a generous body of work as well as an important one.' English Historical Review '... per la prima volta Midelfort ha saputo mettere fonti diverse in piA(1) stretto dialogo, fondendo e arricchendo diverse tradizioni storiografiche. Inoltre, grazie a una notevole capacitA di analisi, ha potuto proporre conclusion originali che hanno messo in discussione alcune interpretazioni consolidate, come quella relativa al coinvolgimento di masse nei processi.' Bibliotheque d'Humanisme et Renaissance