Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Teaching Company Free Lecture on Witchcraft

A friend recently passed along a free lecture that can be listened to online or downloaded to your computer or iPod. I haven't listened to it yet, so I can't comment on it, but it is on my listening list and the description sounds interesting:

A Free Lecture for Halloween! A Gift from The Teaching Company

To thank you for your continued support of The Teaching Company, we are offering this free, 32-minute lecture on "The World of Witches" for you to enjoy as Halloween approaches. Join Teaching Company Professor and medieval history scholar Teofilo F. Ruiz of UCLA as he presents this fascinating exploration of a 16th-century description of how to become a witch.

Professor Ruiz (Ph.D., Princeton University) was selected by the Carnegie Foundation in 1994-1995 as one of four Outstanding U.S. Teachers of the Year. Highly praised by our customers, he has crafted three courses for The Teaching Company on medieval Europe. This lecture is from his course The Terror of History: Mystics, Heretics, and Witches in the Western Tradition.

In this lecture, you will learn what Europeans believed witches did and how it was thought that people joined covenants of witches. You will explore the nocturnal gatherings of witches and wild accusations of child sacrifices, cannibalism, and sexual excesses characteristic of the "witch craze." Why did Europeans in the late medieval period seize on a widespread belief in witchcraft and Satanism?

You may download this lecture and listen to it at your computer, transfer it to your iPod or MP3 player, or burn it to a CD.
Access your free lecture online between now and December 31, 2007. Please feel free to send the lecture link to friends who might also enjoy it. It is free for them as well.


The Teaching Company


Empirical Feline said...

I used to have this lecture series. Very good stuff! I'm currently doing independent studies on witchunts in the Modern Era, how it coexisted along side emerging enlightenment science. Trouble is I don't know where to begin. Other than this excellent series, which I think I still have, can you recommend any other resources that cover this topic. Thanks.

John W. Morehead said...

I am only familiar with resources on specific case studies related to witchhunts in the modern era. Here I recommend Chadwick Hansen, Witchcraft at Salem (New York: George Braziller, 1960), and Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum, Salem Possessed: The Social Origins of Witchcraft (Cambridge and London: Harvard University Press, 1974). Two other works that touch on related issues might be of help including Jeffrey S. Victor, Satanic Panic: The Creation of a Contemporary Legend (Chicago and LaSalle: Open Court, 1993), and Bill Ellis, Lucifer Ascending: The Occult in Folklore and Popular Culture (University of Kentucky Press, 2004). I hope these help.