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The Inquisition: The Hammer of Heresy, by Edward Burman. An historical overview of seven centuries of activity by the Unholy Office of the Inquisition. The author attempts to steer a middle path between various scholarly controversies. Remarkably, the "gentle" Franciscans get the blame they deserve, rather than just the Dominicans and the Jesuits.

Thinking With Demons: The Idea of Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe, by Stuart

Clark. A detailed analysis of how Christian Dualism promoted the ideas that eventually led to the great witch hunts.

Europe's Inner Demons: The Demoniza-tion of Christians in Medieval Christendom, by Norman Cohn (revised edition). A classic work on the psychological and social origins of witch hunts. He covers the history of the ancient urban legend of baby eating, incestuous orgiasts revived by modern Christian Fundamentalists.

The Night Battles: Witchcraft and Agrarian Cults in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries, by Carlo Ginzburg. Yes, there really were people who thought they could fly through the air at night — only these folks did it to fight (what they thought were) witches. Then the Inquisition came along...

Compendium Maleficarum, by Francesco Maria Guazzo. This was the early seventeenth century successor to the Malleus Maleficarum, written by a man apparently just as gullible (or just as evil) as Kramer and Sprenger were.

Witchcraft in Europe, 400-1700: A Documentary History, by Alan Charles Kors and Edward Peters [Editors]. When you actually read the documents of the times, you get a very different picture from both what we were taught in school and the current tales some Neopagans tell.

The Malleus Maleficarum, by Heinrich Kramer and James Sprenger, [translated with introduction, bibliography, and notes by Montague Summers]. This is an officially approved (the Papal imprimatur has never been rescinded) 1486 theological tome used by many inquisitors as "justification" for the atrocities committed against women, children, and men for the thought-crime of Gothic Witchcraft. There are Christians today who still accept their arguments and "evidence" of Satanic wrongdoing (though many would be shocked to know they were agreeing with Roman Catholic theology). Summers was a "Gnostic Catholic" priest and occultist who wrote credulous tomes about werewolves and vampires, and comments approvingly throughout his translation.

The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft and De-monology, by Rossell Hope Robbins. Even though he is a total cynic on the subject of magic, his book is one of the standards on the subject of Gothic Witchcraft and the Inquisition. He will tell you a great deal more than you really want to know about the torturing methods used against accused Gothic Witches.

The Devil: Perceptions of Evil from Antiquity to Primitive Christianity, Satan: The Early Christian Tradition, Lucifer: The Devil in the Middle Ages, Mephistopheles: The Devil in the Modern World, all by Jeffrey Burton Russell. The author traces the "history" of the Christian Devil in exhausting detail. If you're short on time, you might want to read his summating volume, The Prince of Darkness, instead.

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