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ORIGINS OF MODERNITY

theology & witchcraft

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Wagstaffe, John (1633-1677)
The question of witchcraft debated, or, A discourse against their opinion that affirm witches : considered and enlarged ...
Second edition
London : Printed for Edw. Millington, 1671.

Image from Wagstaffe's Question of witchcraft debated

This work was the most effective critique of witchcraft of the late seventeenth century. The second edition displayed here was significantly enlarged and reprinted a number of times in the early eighteenth century. Wagstaffe represents a part of a culture of wit whose sarcastic and iconoclastic approach to occult phenomena bristled with confidence and cynicism. He even argued that belief in witches had been promoted by the clergy as a means of self-aggrandizement.

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