The Enemy Within: 2,000 Years of Witch-Hunting in the by John Demos

By John Demos

A cultural background of witch-hunting, from the Romans via McCarthy

The time period "witch-hunt" is used this day to explain every thing from political scandals to varsity board shake-ups. yet its origins are faraway from trivial. lengthy prior to the Salem witch trials, men and women have been rounded up by means of acquaintances, accused of committing bad crimes utilizing supernatural powers, scrutinized by way of clergymen and juries, and speedily completed. the idea in witchcraft--and the deep worry of evil it instilled in communities--led to a cycle of accusation, anger, and purging that has happened again and again within the West for centuries.

Award-winning historian John Demos places this cultural paranoia in context. he is taking readers from the early Christians persecuted in Rome during the Salem witch trials, McCarthy's hunt for communists, and the hysteria round baby sex-abuse circumstances and satanic cults within the Eighties.

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The Enemy Within: 2,000 Years of Witch-Hunting in the Western World

A cultural background of witch-hunting, from the Romans via McCarthy

The time period "witch-hunt" is used this day to explain every thing from political scandals to college board shake-ups. yet its origins are faraway from trivial. lengthy earlier than the Salem witch trials, men and women have been rounded up via acquaintances, accused of committing awful crimes utilizing supernatural powers, scrutinized via clergymen and juries, and swiftly performed. the idea in witchcraft--and the deep worry of evil it instilled in communities--led to a cycle of accusation, anger, and purging that has happened time and again within the West for centuries.

Award-winning historian John Demos places this cultural paranoia in context. he is taking readers from the early Christians persecuted in Rome during the Salem witch trials, McCarthy's hunt for communists, and the hysteria round baby sex-abuse instances and satanic cults within the Nineteen Eighties.

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Clearly most people who go to theater at all do so fairly frequently; so we can assume that most of them come with considerable background knowledge. But even they had to start somewhere. They had to gain that knowledge. So they were at one time very much like the completely novice spectator and will still be confronted with forms of theater that are unfamiliar. The latter point explains why the account must also cover non-narrative and non-representational forms of theater. To be sure, narrative theater is widespread in every culture.

But many cultures have other forms of theater and the avant-garde traditions in the West are now replete with such forms of theater. These forms of theater may be new to some spectators, but even so they do still seem to grasp what is going on, at least at a basic level. Accordingly, I propose we adopt the following as a reasonable, minimal, Performer Subjectivity and Expression in Theatrical Performance 23 and quite general standard of evidence that a spectator has understood what she has seen.

What then about the worry about the dual aspect of performers? The worry stems from the fact they are themselves and they appear to be fictional characters as well. As I noted earlier, if this is a genuine problem at all, it is also more general. For it affects the representation of nonfictional characters in non-fictional narratives, the aspirations of performers to represent themselves, and attempts by performers just to speak for themselves. But, as the foregoing has suggested, this is only part of an even more general phenomenon.

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