Article

Witchcraft

Isak Niehaus

in Anthropology

ISBN: 9780199766567
Published online January 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199766567-0029
Witchcraft

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  • Anthropology
  • Human Evolution
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Witchcraft refers to a belief in the perpetration of harm by persons through mystical means. The history of witch persecutions during the European Inquisition and Reformation have colored public understandings of witchcraft beliefs in morerecent times. The most significant contribution of anthropological studies has been to show that the belief in witchcraft is encountered in nearly all continents of the world and that it continues to be an important feature of contemporary times. It is the generality of these beliefs that has attracted analytical attention. Anthropological studies have generally left open questions about the reality and actual performance of witchcraft. Instead, they have sought to unearth the social and psychological factors underlying witchcraft beliefs.

Article.  8611 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology ; Human Evolution ; Medical Anthropology ; Physical Anthropology ; Social and Cultural Anthropology

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