And Though This World with Devils Filled
A Story of Sufferings
Translated by Michael Fell
Year of Publication: 2007
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, Oxford, Wien, 2007. XXX, 244 pp.
ISBN 978-0-8204-7491-5 hardback (Hardcover)
Weight: 0.600 kg, 1.323 lbs
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This book is mainly an English translation of Jón Magnússon’s A Story of Sufferings. Magnússon, a seventeenth-century Lutheran priest in Iceland, endured intense physical and mental sufferings, which he attributed to the black magic of three alleged sorcerers. The two male sorcerers were tried, convicted, and burned to death, but the third (a woman) was acquitted. The work may have been written as material for appealing the acquittal of the woman to a higher court. This book also includes a historical introduction, a chronology of Jón Magnússon’s life, and the rulings from the trials. Though hardly pleasant to read, A Story of Sufferings is a literary masterpiece in the original. It should be of interest to students of mystical religion and to historians of the witchcraft craze that plagued Europe during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
About the author(s)/editor(s)
The Translator: Michael Fell received his Ph.D. in mathematics in 1951 from the University of California, Berkeley. He was Professor of Mathematics at the University of Pennsylvania from 1965 to 1991, when he retired. Under the name J.M.G. Fell, he published numerous articles on mathematical research and (in 1988, in collaboration with Professor Robert Doran) a two-volume monograph on his special field. On retiring in 1991, he turned his attention to Icelandic studies. He has now authored three other books in the general field of Icelandic Christianity (published by Peter Lang in 1998, 1999, and 2002). In 2000, he was awarded an honorary Doctorate in Theology by the University of Iceland.
American University Studies: Series 7, Theology and Religion. Vol. 236