On ‘A Demon-Haunted Land’ by Monica Black

Andrew Stuttaford at The New Criterion:

“The Middle Ages,” wrote Carl Jung in a 1958 book about ufos, “have not died out. . . . Mythology and magic flourish as ever in our midst.” I doubt if Monica Black, a professor of history at the University of Tennessee and the author of A Demon-Haunted Land,an intriguing, subtle, and occasionally startling examination of a wave of superstitious belief that swept across Germany in the immediate post-war years, would disagree. Certainly, Black recognizes the fascination that supernatural ideas and practices, from astrology to the occult, held for millions of Germans “across the modern period” as well as the persistence of a long-standing tradition of folk and magical healing.

But that is not inconsistent with her finding that there was “something quite particular about the kinds of mass [allegedly] supernatural events that took place in Germany after World War II, so many of which focused . . . on sin and guilt, healing and redemption.”

more here.