Christina Jessy Larner, née Ross, was born in London to a Scottish family, and was educated at South Hampstead High School for Girls. She graduated with first class honors in modern history from Edinburgh University and then earned a Ph.D. in 1962. During this period, she also taught in the Department of History. In 1960, she married John Larner, then a lecturer in medieval history in the University of Glasgow, with whom she had two sons. Christina Larner held several part-time positions and fellowships at Glasgow University in the 1960s. In 1972, she became a lecturer in the newly-formed Department of Sociology. She obtained a three-year grant that enabled her to study the history of witchcraft in Scotland and in 1977 published the first work on the prosecution of witches based on research into government manuscript sources. Her pioneering book Enemies of God: The Witch Hunt in Scotland, appeared in 1981. She was appointed Gifford Lecturer at the University of Glasgow in 1981 and also lectured at universities in England and Europe. Her book The Thinking Peasant: Popular and Educated Belief in Pre-Industrial Culture (1982) was based on a lecture series. Her other works included A Source Book of Scottish Witchcraft, with Christopher Lee and H.V. McLachlan (1977), and Witchcraft and Religion: The Politics of Popular Belief (1984). In addition she published several major scholarly articles. She died in 1983 at age 49.