Join Professor Ronald Hutton to explore European witch-hunting in the World context.
Discover why the notorious medieval and early modern European witch-hunts took place and what made them different from witch-hunts elsewhere in the world. Find out why they stopped and the impact have they had on witchcraft beliefs and human rights in the present world.
The story of witch-hunting takes us on a journey through the civilisations of the ancient world and early Christianity to a change in mood in late medieval European Christian times. This is when people stopped perceiving witchcraft as a minor problem affecting individuals and started seeing it as a satanic conspiracy directed against the whole of society.
Europe is unique in making this transition and viewing witchcraft as a demonic form of religion. It is also unique in moving from a profound fear of witchcraft to a disbelief in it, officially at least.
How this change came about and how far that fear still presents a problem to the modern world, will be the central issues of this lecture.
Speaker: Professor Ronald Hutton is a Professor of History at the University of Bristol. He is a leading authority on history of the British Isles in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, on ancient and medieval paganism and magic, and on the global context of witchcraft beliefs.
This talk is part of Archaeology Online, a series of monthly evening lectures brought to you by Bristol Museums, Bath and Counties Archaeological Society, Bristol and Avon Archaeological Society and Bristol & Gloucestershire Archaeological Society.
How to take part:
Due to COVID-19, this lecture will take place over Zoom.
Book your place below. Details of how to join the session will be in your registration email. Please check your spam folder if the email does not arrive.
Bookings close at 3pm on Wednesday 10 February.
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Image: Detail from Matthew Hopkins, Witchfinder general, with two supposed witches calling out the names of their demons, some of which are represented by animals. Etching, 1792, after an earlier woodcut. Wellcome Collection. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)