Witchcraft and witch hunting formed a social and intellectual tradition in early modern Europe. Arguments persist as to what extent that tradition was invented. This article reviews the schools of thought and directions within the study of European witchcraft in the period between 1450 and 1750. The contributions of modern scholars from the nineteenth century up to the present are reviewed. Key arguments, important publications, and representative research, together with teaching resources are covered. This historiographical review focuses on three issues: the understanding and exercise of power across the social, political, and religious cultures of early modern Europe; the prevailing problem of inconsistency hindering the development of a single explanatory model; and thus the advantage of micro-history.