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The Regulation of Witchcraft and Sorcery Practices and Beliefs

The Regulation of Witchcraft and Sorcery Practices and Beliefs This article reviews and analyzes the growing bodies of literature on the regulation of sorcery and witchcraft beliefs and practices. The most visible problems relating to these beliefs and practices are the violent exorcisms, banishment, torture, and killing inflicted upon those accused of practicing sorcery and witchcraft in many parts of the global South. Sorcery and witchcraft are also (once again) becoming a challenge for countries in the global North, mainly within migrant communities in relation to children accused of witchcraft and exorcized and also in the context of claims to refugee status and freedom of religion. The article covers scholarly literature (legal, anthropological, economic, historical), law reform commission reports, nongovernmental organization (NGO) reports, and UN documents over the past 15 years concerning the regulation of the negative societal impacts of sorcery and witchcraft practices and beliefs. It concludes that there is a need for greater empirical study of the impacts of various regulatory initiatives adopted and promoted by national governments, NGOs, and international organizations. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Annual Review of Law and Social Science Annual Reviews

The Regulation of Witchcraft and Sorcery Practices and Beliefs

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Publisher
Annual Reviews
Copyright
Copyright © 2016 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved
ISSN
1550-3585
eISSN
1550-3631
DOI
10.1146/annurev-lawsocsci-110615-084600
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This article reviews and analyzes the growing bodies of literature on the regulation of sorcery and witchcraft beliefs and practices. The most visible problems relating to these beliefs and practices are the violent exorcisms, banishment, torture, and killing inflicted upon those accused of practicing sorcery and witchcraft in many parts of the global South. Sorcery and witchcraft are also (once again) becoming a challenge for countries in the global North, mainly within migrant communities in relation to children accused of witchcraft and exorcized and also in the context of claims to refugee status and freedom of religion. The article covers scholarly literature (legal, anthropological, economic, historical), law reform commission reports, nongovernmental organization (NGO) reports, and UN documents over the past 15 years concerning the regulation of the negative societal impacts of sorcery and witchcraft practices and beliefs. It concludes that there is a need for greater empirical study of the impacts of various regulatory initiatives adopted and promoted by national governments, NGOs, and international organizations.

Journal

Annual Review of Law and Social ScienceAnnual Reviews

Published: Oct 27, 2016

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