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social strain-gauge’. 12 Although all manner of disputes and conflicts could give rise to sorcery, generally speaking the majority of stories depict farming or crofting households in ongoing competition with each other, although cases in which beggars went away empty-handed and muttering a curse 13 comprise their own clear sub-category of sorcery narratives. The reputations of ‘witches’ ( noita ) were thus rooted in tensions

in Witchcraft Continued
The social sphere

is its adherence to the more formal meaning of the democratic idea. Democratic rules of the game are maintained, including free elections and multi-party competition but, at the same time, this form of government is distinct from liberal democracy. Conceptually, this is because non-liberal democracy places the interests of one group of citizens over those of other groups, encroaches upon the social sphere and restricts civil liberties. The non-liberal democracy is therefore laden with numerous incongruities, and these are even more prominent in its education

in The Israeli response to Jewish extremism and violence
Open Access (free)
The gendering of witchcraft

. The evidence of Greek and Latin curse tablets indicates that the practice of magic was widespread and that men participated in it in large numbers. In a recent essay, Daniel Ogden states that over 1,600 curse tablets, or defixiones , are currently known to scholars. 17 These tablets, which were usually made of lead, bore written curses of various kinds, regarding litigation, politics, competition, trade, erotic matters, and prayers for

in Male witches in early modern Europe
Open Access (free)
black magic and bogeymen in Northern Ireland, 1973–74

this example is interesting because in Ballymena at that time three papers were battling to survive. The witchcraft rumours became part of this struggle; in the process they were dramatized and consolidated. The following Thursday, 15 November, the Ballymena Guardian and Antrim Standard , the closest competition to the Chronicle , went on to the offensive on its front page. The article begins with an introduction which sets

in Witchcraft Continued

channelling represents a manifestation of complex traditional codes of behaviour concerning witchcraft. Further evidence of the reticulation between (1) beliefs about appropriate responses to witchcraft, (2) witchcraft narratives in general, (3) the specific actions taken in the Izzard case and (4) the stories about this incident, is providentially provided for us through a competition for Huntingdonshire village stories organized by

in Witchcraft Continued

polemical tracts and pamphlets were anti-Catholic; some were anti-Puritan. It needs revision because some of the publications, notably those of Puritans, were deliberately dual-edged, ostensibly anti-Catholic, but also directed at what was considered the quasi-Catholicism of the Stuart kings. This great polemical effort to delegitimize religious opponents was not unique to England, but formed a central part of the religious competition between Protestants, Catholics and dissident thinkers across Europe. With this scenario in mind, the term anticlericalism has a much

in The Enlightenment and religion
Open Access (free)
The ‘defending democracy’ in Israel – a framework of analysis

for this is that while the formal foundations of a democratic system – free and fair elections, inter-partisan competition, periodic governmental rotation, etc. – are maintained, other essential components of the democratic epitome, such as the protection of fundamental rights, including the freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and freedom of religious expression, are all, to varying extents, flawed. Like Yoav Peled, Uri Ben-Eliezer and Yael Yishai, I too find the construct of the ‘non-liberal democracy’ to be the terminological frame

in The Israeli response to Jewish extremism and violence

domain of law enforcement (the state), of primordial ties (the family) and of competition, where the aim is to maximise profits (the marketplace). If so, what then is ‘civil society’? Yishai’s definition proposes that ‘civil society’ consists of those activities occasioned within an organisational context, whether established or transient, but which do not fall within the context of the private domain. A necessary (albeit insufficient) condition for the existence of the ‘civil society’ is that its groups are voluntary and based on civilian readiness to contribute

in The Israeli response to Jewish extremism and violence
A case study in the construction of a myth

the reaches of the dissenting tide, how better to discredit dissent than bracket it with the vague catch-all, but ultimately anti-Church, label of deism, which we know was then closely linked to the term atheism? By so doing, Anglicans could credibly be seen to act as defenders of the faith and so bolster or help to maintain the dominant position of Anglicanism in the minds of the faithful. As we shall see, to tar all opponents with the same brush was not an unusual tactic for an established Church facing growing competition. For some twentieth-century historians

in The Enlightenment and religion
The parliamentary arena

in competition with the Mafdal, we agree that the State should take steps to prevent assimilation … It is legitimate to want the expulsion of Arabs or the attempt to motivate them to emigrate from this country but [it must be done] in a way that does not worsen the relations between the two nations in this country. 27 Despite what these words indicate, it is highly likely that the decision allowing Kach to compete in the elections was based on reasons which do not all come from the desire to empower the democratic foundations of the State of

in The Israeli response to Jewish extremism and violence