Oedipus and the Devil: Witchcraft, Sexuality, and Religion in Early Modern Europe

Oedipus and the Devil: Witchcraft, Sexuality, and Religion in Early Modern Europe

Oedipus and the Devil: Witchcraft, Sexuality, and Religion in Early Modern Europe

Oedipus and the Devil: Witchcraft, Sexuality, and Religion in Early Modern Europe

Synopsis

This bold and imaginative book marks out a different route towards understanding the body, and its relationship to culture and subjectivity. Amongst other subjects, Lyndal Roper deals with the nature of masculinity and feminity.

Excerpt

I'm one of those people for whom writing can never be the result of solitary labours. Writing, for me, always comes out of conversation. I want to begin with an acknowledgement of all the many friends who have argued, talked, written letters, commented on papers, helped me to think and supported me. They have shaped this book.

The essays contained here were written between 1988 and 1992, in Germany and Britain. They were written with both a German- and an English-speaking audience in mind, and they arose out of the experiences and debates I lived through in both places. As an Australian, I come from a migrant culture. The tension between these two languages and different cultures has not always been comfortable, but it has constantly forced me to rethink, to question the point from which I start. And it has also brought me the pleasure of being at home in more than one place. I would like to acknowledge here especially the warmth, hospitality and openness which I have received from my German friends: they have given me more than I can say.

Institutions have generously supported my research. In particular, a year at the Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin in 1991-2 allowed me the free space and time to try out ideas and explore themes I would not otherwise have had the courage to attempt. I should especially like to thank Etienne François, historian of Augsburg and much more, Amos Hetz, dancer and philosopher of movement, and Patrizia Pinotti, who taught me about so many things. Among others, Horst Bredekamp, Hinderk Emrich, Menachem Fisch, Ingrid Gilcher-Holtey, Michael Lackner, Larissa Lomnitz, Sigrid Metken, Lolle Nauta, Claudia Schmölders and Gabi Warburg at the Wissenschaftskolleg all changed the way I thought. The Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst financed a research trip in 1991, and the British Academy awarded me research grants which made it possible to carry out archival work. The History Department at Royal Holloway College, University of London, has been generous in supporting my research, not only in granting me leave of absence and sabbaticals, but in providing an intellectual environment which makes working life fun.

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