Shaman of Oberstdorf: Chonrad Stoeckhlin and the Phantoms of by Wolfgang Behringer

By Wolfgang Behringer

Shaman of Oberstdorf tells the interesting tale of a sixteenth-century mountain village stuck in a panic of its personal making. 400 years in the past the Bavarian alpine city of Oberstdorf, surrounded by way of the towering peaks of the Vorarlberg, was once awash in legends and rumors of prophets and healers, of spirits and specters, of witches and soothsayers. The publication specializes in the lifetime of a horse wrangler named Chonrad Stoeckhlin [1549–1587], whose awesome visions of the afterlife and enthusiastic perform of the occult ultimately resulted in his death―and to the demise of a couple of village women―for crimes of witchcraft.

In addition to recounting Stoeckhlin's story, this booklet examines the bigger global of alpine myths relating ghosts and different spirits of the evening, documenting how those myths were abused via German political events through the years. As an creation to trendy German witchcraft examine, as a examine of the neighborhood influence of the Counter Reformation, and as a ancient research into pop culture, Behringer's e-book has the benefit of telling a compelling person tale amidst better discussions of peasant raptures, magical therapeutic, and surprising alpine notions resembling the "furious army," the "wild hunt," well known bonfire gala's, and eerie echoes of pagan Wotan.

Wolfgang Behringer is likely one of the most appropriate historians of German witchcraft, not just due to his mastery of the topic on the neighborhood point, yet simply because he additionally writes movingly, forcefully, and with a watch for the telling anecdote. such as such classics as The Cheese and the Worms and The go back of Martin Guerre, Shaman of Oberstdorf is an unforgettable examine early glossy German folklore and culture.

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Extra info for Shaman of Oberstdorf: Chonrad Stoeckhlin and the Phantoms of the Night (Studies in Early Modern German History)

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Erik Midelfort. p. cm. (Studies in early modern German history) Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 0-8139-1788-3 (hardcover: alk. paper) ISBN 0-8139-1853-7 (paper: alk. paper) 1. Witchcraft Germany Allgäu History 16th century. 2. Occultism Germany History Allgäu 16th century. I. Title. II. 4'3' 094337 dc2197-48497 CIP Page v Contents List of Maps vii Author's Acknowledgments ix Translator's Preface xi 1 Herdsmen 1 2 Shrovetide Conversations 9 3 The Message of the Specter 12 4 An Angel Appears 17 5 The Phantoms of the Night 22 6 The People of the Night 26 7 Music of Unearthly Beauty 35 8 The Miracle of the Bones 39 9 The Good Society 47 Page vi 10 Wuotas 72 11 Healing and Prophecy 82 12 Witches' Flight 89 13 Heuber 99 14 Witch Hunt 105 15 Peasant Rebellion 118 16 Folk Beliefs 128 17 Shamanism 142 18 Bricolage 146 19 Private Revelations 152 20 The End of the Dreamtime 157 Notes 161 Index 195 Page vii Maps 1.

11 And besides, it was not supposed to be just any dead man but rather someone whom one had known and trusted. "12 Naturally, Stoeckhlin presented his story to the magistrates as if it had taken great powers of persuasion to convince him of this proposal. Be that as it may, he did agree to the proposal, and the two herdsmen turned their mutual promises into a contract13 and probably sealed it the way cattle dealers still do in the Alps today, with a handshake. Page 12 3. The Specter's Message CONTRACTUAL THINKING HAS always played an important role in European culture.

Exactly eight days after their agreement, on Shrove Tuesday (11 February 1578) or according to two other versions of this story on one day later, on Ash Wednesday at the beginning of Lenten fasting, the oxherd Jacob Walch died suddenly. 2 Ash Wednesday was a day of death, and yet his comrade could not turn into mere dust for he was now under contractual obligation. After another eight days, on Thursday, 20 February 1578, on the day after the spring Ember day, Chonrad was walking in a woods to cut down a fir tree, probably for firewood.

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