Magical Self

Magical Self

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Stark, Laura
The Magical Self. Body, Society and the Supernatural in Early Modern Rural Finland
Finnish Academy of Science and Letters
FF Communications 290
Vammala 2006, 521 pp.


Using personal narratives on traditional magic from one of the last cultures in Europe where sorcery and witchcraft were practiced, Laura Stark examines how a magic-oriented world view influenced early modern people’s thoughts, emotions, and unconscious behaviours. Although magic was conducted in secret, it was nonetheless a highly social activity. Thousands of recorded descriptions of harmful magic from 19th- and early 20th-century Finland provide glimpses into the social pressures experienced by persons living before and during modernization. Magic and supernatural beliefs did not disappear from daily life simply because persons were educated in new scientific and materialist perspectives.


ISBN 951-41-0998-8
ISSN 0014-5815