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Books by David W. Price

  • A World of Darkness: Cotton Mather and the 1692 Salem Witchcraft Trials

    Salem Village, Massachusetts, winter 1692. Two young girls, Betty Parris and Abigail Williams, use magic to foretell who they will marry. Within days, both girls display the telltale signs of witchcraft possession. For the next fifteen months, witchcraft accusations, trials, and executions spiral out of control. Nineteen “witches” are hanged, and one is pressed to death. At the eye of the storm stands Cotton Mather, a prominent Boston pastor. During the trials he advises the Salem judges. Afterwards he defends them in his book, The Wonders of the Invisible World. It will be Mather’s consummate theological explanation of Salem’s dark hour, and it will seal his historical fate. Contemporaries will attack him; subsequent historians will castigate him, largely ignoring his theology in Salem trial studies. A World of Darkness is the first work to utilize Mather’s theological beliefs as a lens to interpret the Salem witchcraft trials. It asks the question, “What can Mather’s seventeenth-century Puritan theology tell us about the Salem witchcraft episode?”


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Dr. David W. Price has a PhD in history from the University of North London, a master's degree in theology from Wheaton College Graduate School, and a bachelor's degree in pastoral ministry from North Central University. As an adjunct professor, he teaches history for Eastern Florida State College as well as Southwestern Assemblies of God University. He has studied and written on the relationship of Puritan theology to the 1692 Salem witchcraft trials for nearly two decades. He has authored and presented papers on seventeenth-century witchcraft at universities in the United States and Europe. Dr. Price currently serves as a senior pastor, presents a weekly radio program, and has made television appearances. David, and his wife, LuAnn, have been married for thirty-nine years and have two adult children. They live in Titusville, Florida.