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H. C. Erik Midelfort

H.C. ERIK MIDELFORT
2003

Exorcism and Enlightenment: Johann Joseph Gassner and the Demons of 18th-Century Germany

H. C. Erik Midelfort is the C. Julian Bishko Professor of History and Religious Studies at the University of Virginia, where he has taught since 1970. He has also taught at Stanford, Bern, Stuttgart, and Harvard Universities, and most recently was Visiting Scholar, Wolfson College, Oxford, England.

Born in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, in 1942, Professor Midelfort attended public schools until his matriculation at Yale University. After completing his B.A. in 1964, he continued at Yale, earning a Ph.D. in 1970. His dissertation, published as Witch Hunting in Southwestern Germany, 1562-1684: The Social and Intellectual Foundations, won the Gustav Arlt Award in the Humanities in 1973. His recent work in the complex history of psychiatry, folly, madness, and mental hospitals, has resulted in several articles and two books: Mad Princes of Renaissance Germany (1994) and A History of Madness in Sixteenth-Century Germany (1999), both of which won the Roland Bainton Prize of the Sixteenth Century Studies Conference for the best books of their years. The latter book also won Phi Beta Kappa’s Ralph Waldo Emerson Award.

LECTURE SCHEDULE

Exorcism and Enlightenment: Johann Joseph Gassner and the Demons of 18th-Century Germany
February 18, 2003 The Experience of Demons and Exorcism Audio Stream
February 25, 2003 Healing: Gassner's Patients and their Reports Audio Stream
March 25, 2003 Interpretation: Enlightened and Traditional Biblical Views of Demons and Exorcism Audio Stream
(part 1)

(part 2)
April 1, 2003 Conversation and Ridicule: The Structure of Enlightened Controversy Audio Stream

Midelfort's book, Exorcism and Enlightenment: Johann Joseph Gassner and the Demons of 18th-Century Germany, published from the lecture is available at Yale University Press.