Knowing Demons, Knowing Spirits in the Early Modern Period

  • Michelle D. Brock
  • Richard Raiswell
  • David R. Winter

Part of the Palgrave Historical Studies in Witchcraft and Magic book series (PHSWM)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Introduction

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Michelle D. Brock, David R. Winter
      Pages 3-19
  3. Knowing in Theory

  4. Knowing in Practice

  5. Afterword

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 291-291
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 303-317

About this book


This book explores the manifold ways of knowing—and knowing about— preternatural beings such as demons, angels, fairies, and other spirits that inhabited and were believed to act in early modern European worlds. Its contributors examine how people across the social spectrum assayed the various types of spiritual entities that they believed dwelled invisibly but meaningfully in the spaces just beyond (and occasionally within) the limits of human perception. Collectively, the volume demonstrates that an awareness and understanding of the nature and capabilities of spirits—whether benevolent or malevolent—was fundamental to the knowledge-making practices that characterize the years between ca. 1500 and 1750.  This is, therefore, a book about how epistemological and experiential knowledge of spirits persisted and evolved in concert with the wider intellectual changes of the early modern period, such as the Protestant Reformation, the Scientific Revolution, and the Enlightenment. 


angels fairies religion demonology possession

Editors and affiliations

  • Michelle D. Brock
    • 1
  • Richard Raiswell
    • 2
  • David R. Winter
    • 3
  1. 1.Washington and Lee UniversityLexingtonUSA
  2. 2.University of Prince Edward IslandCharlottetownCanada
  3. 3.Brandon UniversityBrandonCanada

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2018
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages History History (R0)
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-75737-7
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-75738-4
  • Buy this book on publisher's site