Europe’s Great Witch Hunt

Between 1424 and 1782 Western and Central Europe, which had been an area of the world relatively little affected by witch hunting (the persecution of people accused of using magic to harm others), was badly convulsed by it. This talk is designed to answer the question of why late medieval Western Christianity lost its nerve so badly and began so much to fear imagined evils. It will tackle the related questions of why the trials peaked in the supposedly more rational era of the Scientific Revolution and European expansion overseas; and why the trials came to an end and have not resumed. It will also seek to explain why witch trials concentrated in particular places as well as times and why the majority of those put to death as a result were female.

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.

don’t worry if you miss it – we will send you a recording valid for two weeks the next day

Nov 25th 2024 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

£6 - £10 & By Donation

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