description in the 1770s of the customs of the people of Holland (Natuurlyke Historie van Holland, 1769-1805), including their everyday religious culture, a description which is now viewed as marking the origins of Dutch ethnology. The first chair in Europe in the field of anthropology (or Volkskunde,atermfirst used in 1782) was founded at the University of Gottingen about the same time, and the new discipline grew to maturity within a few decades. Everywhere in Europe the rising national consciousness produced a need for systematic knowledge of local populations and their culture, with particular emphasis on the difference between the elites, with their cosmopolitan outlook, and the strongly localized culture of the masses. Later, in the early nineteenth century, the churches would come to accept well-ordered popular beliefs and practices as authentic forms of religious experience, and even promote them as a remedy against the 'moral depravity' of the elites.


1. Michel Vovelle, 'La religion populaire, problèmes et méthodes', in Idéologies et mentalités (Paris: Francois Maspero, 1982), pp. 125-62.

2. Margaret Murray, The witch-cult in western Europe (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1921); Ludo Milis (ed.), The pagan Middle Ages (Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 1998).

3. Robert Mandrou, Introduction to modernFrance, 15 00-1640: An essay in historicalpsychology, trans. R. E. Hallmark (New York: Holmes and Meyer, 1976); and Magistrats et sorciers en France au XVIIe siecle. Analyse de psychologie historique (Paris: Plon, 1968).

4. Gerard Bouchard, Le village immobile: Sennely en Sologne auXVIIIe siècle (Paris: Plon, 1972).

5. Mikhail Bakhtin, Rabelais and his world (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1968). Carlo Ginzburg, The cheese and the worms: The cosmos of a sixteenth-century miller (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1980); The night battles: Witchcraft and agrarian cults in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1983).

6. For example, Ernesto de Martino, Sud e magia (Milan: Feltrinelli, 1971); Gabriele de Rosa, Vescovi, popolo e magia nel Sud (Naples: Guida, 1971); Jean Delumeau (ed.), Histoire vécue du peuple chretien, 2 vols. (Toulouse: Privat, 1979); and Catholicism between Luther and Voltaire: A new view of the Counter-Reformation, trans. Jeremy Moiser (London: Burns & Oates, 1977).

7. For this perspective, see Roger Chartier, 'Le monde comme representation', Annales. Histoire Sciences Sociales, 44 (1989), pp. 505-20; also Joris van Eijnatten and Fred van Lieburg, Nederlandse religiegeschiedenis (Hilversum: Verloren, 2005); and Gerard Rooij-akkers, Rituele repertoires. Volkscultuur in oostelijk Noord-Brabant 155 9-1853 (Nijmegen: SUN, 1994).

8. SeeR. W Scribner, 'Cosmic order and daily life: Sacred and secular in pre-industrial German society', in Scribner, Popular culture and popular movements in Reformation Germany (London: Hambledon Press, 1987),pp. 1-16; and 'Elements ofpopular belief, in Thomas

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