Illness and Healing Alternatives in Western Europe

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Illness and Healing Alternatives in Western Europe

Despite the recent upsurge in interest in alternative medicine and
unorthodox healers, Illness and Healing Alternatives in Western
Europe is the first book to focus closely on the relationship between
belief, culture and healing in the past. In essays on France, the
Netherlands, Germany, Spain and England, from the sixteenth century
to the present day, the authors draw on a broad range of material,
from studies of demonologists and reports of asylum doctors to church
archives and oral evidence.
These studies offer a fundamental and exciting rereading of the history
of healing, challenging Weber’s concept of the ‘disenchantment of the
world’. Although the attribution of illness to witchcraft and demons
has clearly been losing ground ever since the seventeenth century, there
has by no means been a complete disappearance of these beliefs.
Engaging rigorously with the relationship between medical science,
popular beliefs and healing, with the concept of a ‘medical market
place’, and with alternative medicine right up to the present day,
Illness and Healing Alternatives in Western Europe will make an
invaluable resource for undergraduate and postgraduate students of
medical, social and cultural history.
Marijke Gijswijt-Hofstra is Professor of Social and Cultural History
at the University of Amsterdam. She has published widely on the history
of witchcraft and alternative healing. Hilary Marland is Wellcome
University Award Holder at the Centre for Social History, Warwick
University, and is an editor of Social History of Medicine. Among her
many publications are works on the history of midwifery. Hans de
Waardt is Lecturer in History at Erasmus University Rotterdam, and
has published extensively on witchcraft, sorcery and preacher-healers.

Studies in the Social History of Medicine
Series Editors: Jonathan Barry and Bernard Harris
In recent years, the social history of medicine has become recognised as a major
field of historical enquiry. Aspects of health, disease, and medical care now
attract the attention not only of social historians but also of researchers in a
broad spectrum of historical and social science disciplines. The Society for the
Social History of Medicine, founded in 1969, is an interdisciplinary body, based
in Great Britain but international in membership. It exists to forward a wideranging view of the history of medicine, concerned equally with biological aspects
of normal life, experience ...