In the United States, “witches” take many forms—from the caricatures at Halloween, to Wiccans, to comic book characters. You have found from your readings that witchcraft is common to cultures throughout history and across the globe.
Some have suggested that witchcraft and the threat of being cursed keeps members of society in line. Others have argued that a belief in witchcraft is a kind of delusion or sickness.
For this discussion, focus on the following:
- Compare how witchcraft has been viewed historically in the United States and in Europe. What purpose have these beliefs served?
- Compare and contrast the typical Western European version of witchcraft with one of the following non-Western versions of witchcraft by reviewing these resource links on witchcraft:
- What purpose do the beliefs serve in the contrasting society’s view of witchcraft that you selected above?