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Defining the Demonic

Although Jacques Collin de Plancy’s Dictionnaire infernal, a monumental compendium of all things diabolical, was first published in 1818 to much success, it is th…more

Master of Disaster, Ignatius Donnelly

The destruction of Atlantis, cataclysmic comets, and a Manhattan tower made entirely from concrete and corpse — Carl Abbott on the life and work of a Minnesotan w…more

Woodcuts and Witches

Jon Crabb on the witch-craze of Early Modern Europe, and how the concurrent rise of the mass-produced woodcut helped forge the archetype of the broom-riding crone …more

Voltaire and the Buddha

Donald S. Lopez, Jr. looks at Voltaire’s early reflections on Buddhism and how, in his desire to separate the Buddha’s teachings from the trappings of religion, the…more

Divine Comedy: Lucian Versus The Gods

With the twenty-six short comic dialogues that made up Dialogues of the Gods, the 2nd-century writer Lucian of Samosata took the popular images of the Greek gods an…more

Worlds Without End

At the end of the 19th century, inspired by radical advances in technology, physicists asserted the reality of invisible worlds — an idea through which they sough…more