The Natural History of the European WerewolfThe Festival of Reason 2012 is our end of year showpiece event It's a series of Lectures advocating, science, skepticism and rational thought. The first event is Deborah Hyde who will be delivering a talk entitled "The Natural History of the European Werewolf"
"The werewolf is an enduring motif. Though there are many good werewolves in folklore, the prevalent type that springs to the modern mind is the ravaging, insatiable beast, an entity which so often stands for the heart of darkness of the human soul. This talk will explore how the motif was used during one of Europe’s darkest eras – the Great Witch Hunt of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Along with perspectives on religious wars, the labeling of anti-social behaviour and the changing state of medical science, we'll meet a torture-victims, political murder victims, the insane and a few common-or-garden psychopaths. We'll end with a few tips to help avoid modern witch hunts, and especially to help stop accusations of child-witchcraft in modern contexts."
Deborah (Jourdemayne) is the editor in chief of The Skeptic Magazine, the UK’s only regular magazine to take a critical-thinking and evidence-based approach to pseudo-science and the paranormal. She blogs on her website (www.jourdemayne.com) about the supernatural, folklore, and skepticism.