Journal or Book Title
Magic, Ritual, and Witchcraft
This is the first in a series of three planned volumes containing essays presented at a conference on “Demons, Spirits, and Witches” held in Buda-pest in 1999. While this volume offers essays dealing with demonic possession, visionary experiences, trance states, and shamanism, future volumes contents of which are listed) will focus on demonology, both elite and popular, and on witchcraft. In all, forty-three articles will be published. As is typical with conference proceedings, indeed with essay collections of any sort, the articles in this volume vary considerably in their focus, and in the depth and breadth of their coverage. The most extended contribution is that of Éva Pócs, who seems to have exercised editor’s privilege and expanded her essay to sixty-eight pages. Most of the other articles, however, appear to have been revised only slightly, if at all, beyond their original forms as conference papers. Many are only ten to twelve pages long. In terms of coverage, Pócs’s article spans several periods, but focuses on East-Central Europe. Of the other ten essays, five focus on medieval Europe, three on the early modern period, one on the modern, and one is essentially ahistorical. The authors come from several different disciplines, including history, literary studies, and folklore, although only one article really makes an issue of its particular disciplinary approach.
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University of Pennsylvania Press
Bailey, Michael D., "Communicating with the Spirits (review)" (2006). History Publications. 31.