Speak of the Devil: Tales of Satanic Abuse in Contemporary England

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Cambridge University Press, 12.02.1998 - 224 Seiten
Allegations of satanic child abuse became widespread in North America in the 1980s. Shortly afterwards, there were similar reports in Britain of sexual abuse, torture and murder, associated with worship of the Devil. Professor Jean La Fontaine, a senior British anthropologist, conducted a two year research project into these allegations, which found that they were without foundation. Her detailed analysis of a number of specific cases, and an extensive review of the literature, revealed no evidence of devil-worship. She concludes that the child witnesses come to believe that they are describing what actually happened to them, but that adults are manipulating the accusations. She draws parallels with classic instances of witchcraft accusations and witch-hunts in sixteenth and seventeenth-century Europe, and shows that beneath the hysteria there is a social movement, which is fostered by a climate of social and economic insecurity. Persuasively argued, this is an authoritative and scholarly account of an emotive issue.
 

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Inhalt

Introduction the problem
1
The personification of evil
18
Witches satanists and the occult
38
The extent of the allegations
56
The question of proof
76
Explaining belief
94
Childrens stories
112
Confessions and tales of horror
134
A modern movement of witchfinders?
156
Aftermath and conclusions
177
Notes
193
Bibliography
205
Index
217
Urheberrecht

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Über den Autor (1998)

Although he had a degree to practice law, La Fontaine does not seem to have done so but, rather, spent his life in Paris dependent on aristocratic patrons. His principal contribution to literature was his 12 books of Fables, to which he devoted 30 years of his life. They were published from 1668 to 1694 and are universally appreciated in France by children and adults alike. In drawing on a tradition of the fable going back to Aesop, La Fontaine created a portrait of human life and French society through the representations of animals. His work is marked by great insight into human moral character, while it preaches the value of the middle road.

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