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

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Cambridge University Press, 12 feb 1998 - 224 pagine
Allegations of satanic child abuse became widespread in north America in the early 1980s. In Britain shortly afterwards there were similar claims that sexual abuse, torture and murder were taking place as part of rites of witchcraft and devil worship Jean La Fontaine, a senior British anthropologist, was funded by the Department of Health to undertake research into the allegations and found that there was no independent corroboration of these allegations in the many cases she studied. The problem then was to explain why they continued to be believed. Professor La Fontaine draws parallels with witchcraft accusations in the classic literature of anthropology and also with the witch-hunts in the sixteenth-and seventeenth-century Europe, showing how this contemporary social movement drew on different elements in British society and was fostered by the climate of socio-economic change and insecurity. Persuasively argued, this is an authoritative and scholarly account of a controversial, emotive issue.

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Introduction the problem
The personification of evil
Witches satanists and the occult
The extent of the allegations
The question of proof
Explaining belief
Childrens stories
Confessions and tales of horror
A modern movement of witchfinders?
Aftermath and conclusions

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Informazioni sull'autore (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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