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Focusing especially on Europe in the medieval and early modern eras, Michael Bailey also explores the ancient Near East, classical Greece and Rome, and the spread of magical systems, particularly modern witchcraft or Wicca, from Europe to the United States. He examines how magic and superstition have been defined in various historical eras and how these constructions have changed over time. He considers the ways in which specific categories of magic have been condemned, and how those identified as magicians or witches have been persecuted and prosecuted in various societies.
Although conceptions of magic have changed over time, the author shows how magic has almost always served as a boundary marker separating socially acceptable actions from illicit ones, and more generally the known and understood from the unknown and occult.
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By Cara Mico on 01-18-17
moments of patriarchal superiority and derision for feminist theory, including a brief discussion of the feminazi (not joking) but all in all a decent synopsis of historical ideologies. a good reference guide to fund other reading material
0 of 4 people found this review helpful