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Myth and reality

In recent years there has been a significant growth in interest of the so-called “law in context” extending legal studies beyond black letter law. This book looks at the relationship between written law and legal practice. It examines how law is applied in reality and more precisely how law is perceived by the general public in contrast to the legal profession. The authors look at a number of themes that are central to examining ways in which myths about law are formed, and how there is inevitably a constitutive power aspect to this myth making. At the same time they explore to what extent law itself creates and sustains myths. This line of enquiry is taken from a wide range of viewpoints and thus offers a unique approach to the question of relationship between theory and practice. The book critically assesses the public’s level of legal, psychological and social awareness in relation to their knowledge of law and deviant behaviour. This line of enquiry is taken from a wide range of viewpoints and thus offers a unique approach to the question of relationship between theory and practice. The book covers both empirical studies and theoretical engagements in the area of legal understanding and this affords a very comprehensive coverage of the area, and addressing issues of gender and class, as well as considering psychological material. It brings together a range of academics and practitioners and asks questions and address contemporary issues relating to the relationship between law and popular beliefs.

Open Access (free)
A Belated but Welcome Theory of Change on Mental Health and Development
Laura Davidson

depression worldwide increased by almost 50 per cent, from 172 million to 258 million ( Liu et al. , 2019 ), making it the leading cause of ill-health and disability worldwide ( WHO, 2017 ). Further, contrary to the popular belief that mental disorders such as depression are a western construct, more than 70 per cent of them occur in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) ( Rathod et al. , 2017 ). The previous UN Special

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Witchcraft and magic in Enlightenment Europe

This book looks at aspects of the continuation of witchcraft and magic in Europe from the last of the secular and ecclesiastical trials during the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, through to the nineteenth century. It provides a brief outline of witch trials in late seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century Finland. By the second half of the seventeenth century, as the witch trials reached their climax in Sweden, belief in the interventionist powers of the Devil had become a major preoccupation of the educated classes. Having acknowledged the slight possibility of real possession by the Devil, Benito Feijoo threw himself wholeheartedly into his real objective: to expose the falseness of the majority of the possessed. The book is concerned with accusations of magic, which were formalised as denunciations heard by the Inquisition of the Archdiocese of Capua, a city twelve miles north of Naples, during the first half of the eighteenth century. One aspect of the study of witchcraft and magic, which has not yet been absorbed into the main stream of literature on the subject, is the archaeological record of the subject. As a part of the increasing interest in 'popular' culture, historians have become more conscious of the presence of witchcraft after the witch trials. The aftermath of the major witch trials in Dalarna, Sweden, demonstrates how the authorities began the awkward process of divorcing themselves from popular concerns and beliefs regarding witchcraft.

Daniel Gerster

of religious phenomena. Historians have therefore often discussed religious performances and practices beyond the official doctrine by employing the problematic term of popular belief ’.8 Both fundamental social changes and controversies about the role and structure of religious organisations challenged the Roman Catholic Church, as well as other religious groups, during the second half of the twentieth century. But instead of understanding this transformation as a linear and steady decline of religion in modern society, it should rather be seen as a general

in Understanding the imaginary war
The narrative within the Irish imaginary
Mícheál Ó hAodha

08 Insubordinate Irish 103-151 8 25/7/11 12:42 Page 103 Anti-Traveller prejudice: The narrative within the Irish imaginary The folktales explored here are no longer as widely known or as widely disseminated as they once were. However their raison d’être – i.e. the ‘accursed’ or ‘disordered’ status of Travellers as a consequence of their perceived ‘punishment’ – continues to resonate strongly both in Irish popular belief and in the general public discourse concerning Travellers in Ireland. I argue that reductionist stereotypes as applied to Travellers in the

in ‘Insubordinate Irish’
Owen Davies

present a rather static impression of popular belief over the century. 1 As well as these book-length studies, there are several articles by French historians that have made use of the criminal records of the period. Marie-Claude Denier has examined several late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century trials concerning unbewitching in Mayenne, a département in north-western France. Jean-Claude Sebban has analysed twenty-three trials involving

in Witchcraft Continued
Domhnall Uilleam Stiùbhart

This chapter examines and reassesses some accounts from early modern Scotland referring to a constellation of diverse supernatural abilities, primarily relating to premonition and clairvoyance, often described in English as Second Sight, and in Scottish Gaelic as an dà shealladh or taibhsearachd . It is indebted to the scholarship of numerous historians of early modern thought, religion and popular belief, in particular the work of Michael Hunter, whose annotated sourcebook The Occult Laboratory offers an essential and accessible introduction to the

in The supernatural in early modern Scotland
Sabina Magliocco

popularbelief or religion. But as Leonard Primiano notes, these terminologies presuppose the existence of a hierarchical, dualistic system in which ‘official’ religion or belief, sanctioned and adopted by the hegemony, has primacy over ‘folk’, ‘popular’ and ‘unofficial’ systems, which are then viewed as inferior or illegitimate. 1 According to Primiano, the assumption that such practices exist separate from hegemonic practices is inaccurate, since

in Witchcraft Continued
Sermons and the supernatural in post-Reformation Scotland
Michelle D. Brock

inaccurate to view sermons as merely responding to popular belief here. The work of Lizanne Henderson, Edward J. Cowan, Julian Goodare and others has shown that fairies and other such beings continued to flourish in a supernatural grey zone among much of the populace. 68 Moreover, as Martha McGill has noted, the lack of sermonic attention to angels stands in contrast to the treatises and lecture notes of theologians and philosophers that contain detailed considerations of the nature and capabilities of angels. 69 Moreover, as Louise Yeoman has shown, even the religious

in The supernatural in early modern Scotland
David Geiringer

aspects of women’s sexual experience. However, contrary to popular belief, this was not simply the failing of ‘conservative’ opponents of change, but was also written into the way ‘liberal’ commission members approached female sexuality. 5 At no point in the commission’s discussions were ‘ordinary’ Catholic women asked to speak about their sexual experiences. Sex was treated as a

in The Pope and the pill