WitchcraftBook - 1981
Descendant of Susanna Martin, who was hanged as a witch because she walked into Salem in the rain without getting her feet wet, Hoyt describes his book as a guide, a text, to help students find the way to the right questions, through an enormous mass of complex, contradictory, and emotionally charged material. Confusion exists even in so basic a text as the injunction found in the King James translation of Exodus that Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. Hoyt argues persuasively that this charge to the faithful, which has cost the lives of hundreds of thousands, is an error in translating the word "kashaph "as "witch "rather than "poisoner, "as the author of Exodus intended.Dealing further with the scriptural derivation for the bases of witchcraft, Hoyt shows that it was only with the New Testament s personification of Satan that witchcraft was supplied with the personalized principle of evil it required to prosper. He discusses the pantheon of hell, including the fiends Beelzebub, Mephistopheles, Asmodeus, Apollyon, and Belial. He concludes his historical analysis with a discussion of the witch queen Hecate, Circe the enchantress, and Medea.Hoyt has identified seven schools of witchcraft, including the orthodox, the skeptics, the anthropological, the psychological, the pharmacological, the transcendental, and the occult. His perceptive classification of these schools greatly assists the student of witchcraft through the associations they combine and suggest.Utilizing citations from witch trials, Hoyt is able to illustrate many of his arguments concerning the practice of witchcraft and beliefs concerning witches. Such records also provide stark evidence of the justice afforded those thought to be witches. Peter Stubbe, for example, was executed for lycanthropy by having his flesh ripped from his bones with red-hot pincers, his arms and legs broken, and finally his head strook from his body. "
Publisher: Carbondale : Southern Illinois University Press, c1981.
Branch Call Number: 133.43 Hoyt
Characteristics: x, 166 p. ;,24 cm.
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