Fairies, Demons, and Nature Spirits

'Small Gods' at the Margins of Christendom

  • Michael Ostling

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

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Demonization and its Discontents

  3. Enlightenment and its Ambiguities

  4. Remnants, Relocations, and Re-Enchantments

  5. Back Matter
    Pages 357-366

About this book


This book examines the fairies, demons, and nature spirits haunting the margins of Christendom from late-antique Egypt to early modern Scotland to contemporary Amazonia. Contributions from anthropologists, folklorists, historians and religionists explore Christian strategies of encompassment and marginalization, and the ‘small gods’ undisciplined tendency to evade such efforts at exorcism. Lurking in forest or fairy-mound, chuckling in dark corners of the home or of the demoniac’s body, the small gods both define and disturb the borders of a religion that is endlessly syncretistic and in endless, active denial of its own syncretism. The book will be of interest to students of folklore, indigenous Christianity, the history of science, and comparative religion.


Christianity religion witchcraft demonology folklore

Editors and affiliations

  • Michael Ostling
    • 1
  1. 1.Arizona State UniversityTempeUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2018
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, London
  • eBook Packages History History (R0)
  • Print ISBN 978-1-137-58519-6
  • Online ISBN 978-1-137-58520-2
  • Buy this book on publisher's site