Religion And The Decline Of Magic

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Religion And The Decline Of Magic

Author : Keith Thomas
ISBN : 9780141932408
Genre : History
File Size : 42.35 MB
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Witchcraft, astrology, divination and every kind of popular magic flourished in England during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, from the belief that a blessed amulet could prevent the assaults of the Devil to the use of the same charms to recover stolen goods. At the same time the Protestant Reformation attempted to take the magic out of religion, and scientists were developing new explanations of the universe. Keith Thomas's classic analysis of beliefs held on every level of English society begins with the collapse of the medieval Church and ends with the changing intellectual atmosphere around 1700, when science and rationalism began to challenge the older systems of belief.
Category: History

Religion And The Decline Of Magic

Author : Simon Young
ISBN : 1912127156
Genre : Occultism
File Size : 65.34 MB
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Keith Thomas's classic study of all forms of popular belief has been influential for so long now that it is difficult to remember how revolutionary it seemed when it first appeared. By publishing Religion and the Decline of Magic, Thomas became the first serious scholar to attempt to synthesize the full range of popular thought about the occult and the supernatural, studying its influence across Europe over several centuries. At root, his book can be seen as a superb exercise in problem-solving: one that actually established "magic" as a historical problem worthy of investigation. Thomas asked productive questions, not least challenging the prevailing assumption that folk belief was unworthy of serious scholarly attention, and his work usefully reframed the existing debate in much broader terms, allowing for more extensive exploration of correlations, not only between different sorts of popular belief, but also between popular belief and state religion. It was this that allowed Thomas to reach his famous conclusion that the advent of Protestantism - which drove out much of the "superstition" that characterised the Catholicism of the period - created a vacuum filled by other forms of belief; for example, Catholic priests had once blessed their crops, but Protestants refused to do so. That left farmers looking for other ways of ensuring a good harvest. It was this, Thomas argues, that explains the survival of what we now think of as "magic" at a time such beliefs might have been expected to decline - at least until science arose to offer alternative paradigms.
Category: Occultism

Religion And The Decline Of Magic

Author : Simon Young
ISBN : 9781351352802
Genre : History
File Size : 59.90 MB
Format : PDF, Kindle
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Keith Thomas's classic study of all forms of popular belief has been influential for so long now that it is difficult to remember how revolutionary it seemed when it first appeared. By publishing Religion and the Decline of Magic, Thomas became the first serious scholar to attempt to synthesize the full range of popular thought about the occult and the supernatural, studying its influence across Europe over several centuries. At root, his book can be seen as a superb exercise in problem-solving: one that actually established "magic" as a historical problem worthy of investigation. Thomas asked productive questions, not least challenging the prevailing assumption that folk belief was unworthy of serious scholarly attention, and his work usefully reframed the existing debate in much broader terms, allowing for more extensive exploration of correlations, not only between different sorts of popular belief, but also between popular belief and state religion. It was this that allowed Thomas to reach his famous conclusion that the advent of Protestantism – which drove out much of the "superstition" that characterised the Catholicism of the period – created a vacuum filled by other forms of belief; for example, Catholic priests had once blessed their crops, but Protestants refused to do so. That left farmers looking for other ways of ensuring a good harvest. It was this, Thomas argues, that explains the survival of what we now think of as "magic" at a time such beliefs might have been expected to decline – at least until science arose to offer alternative paradigms.
Category: History

Witchcraft In Early Modern Europe

Author : Jonathan Barry
ISBN : 0521638755
Genre : History
File Size : 49.5 MB
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This important collection brings together both established figures and new researchers to offer fresh perspectives on the ever-controversial subject of the history of witchcraft. Using Keith Thomas's Religion and the Decline of Magic as a starting point, the contributors explore the changes of the last twenty-five years in the understanding of early modern witchcraft, and suggest new approaches, especially concerning the cultural dimensions of the subject. Witchcraft cases must be understood as power struggles, over gender and ideology as well as social relationships, with a crucial role played by alternative representations. Witchcraft was always a contested idea, never fully established in early modern culture but much harder to dislodge than has usually been assumed. The essays are European in scope, with examples from Germany, France, and the Spanish expansion into the New World, as well as a strong core of English material.
Category: History

Queen Elizabeth I

Author : Christa Jansohn
ISBN : 3825875296
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 55.33 MB
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This work marks the 400th anniversary of the death of one of England's greatest monarchs, a highly intelligent and successful ruler. The volume appeals to everyone interested in the charismatic character of Elizabeth I, her time and cultural afterlife. Contributors focus on important aspects of Elizabeth's subtle and resourceful political power and the longstanding struggle she faced at home and abroad as well as the threats posed to her realm. This edition presents a series of essays about fictional representations of Queen Elizabeth I in literature, music, and film. Articles illuminate the fascinating story of her numerous afterlives and their significance for the cultural history of England, its sense of identity and psyche. Essays investigate the ceremony, festivities, and dance practices at her court and bring to life the cultural significance of this colorful and extraordinary monarch. Christa Jansohn is professor of British culture at the University of Bamberg, Germany.
Category: Literary Criticism

Superstition And Magic In Early Modern Europe A Reader

Author : Helen L. Parish
ISBN : 9781441100320
Genre : History
File Size : 77.36 MB
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Superstition and Magic in Early Modern Europe brings together a rich selection of essays which represent the most important historical research on religion, magic and superstition in early modern Europe. Each essay makes a significant contribution to the history of magic and religion in its own right, while together they demonstrate how debates over the topic have evolved over time, providing invaluable intellectual, historical, and socio-political context for readers approaching the subject for the first time. The essays are organised around five key themes and areas of controversy. Part One tackles superstition; Part Two, the tension between miracles and magic; Part Three, ghosts and apparitions; Part Four, witchcraft and witch trials; and Part Five, the gradual disintegration of the 'magical universe' in the face of scientific, religious and practical opposition. Each part is prefaced by an introduction that provides an outline of the historiography and engages with recent scholarship and debate, setting the context for the essays that follow and providing a foundation for further study. This collection is an invaluable toolkit for students of early modern Europe, providing both a focused overview and a springboard for broader thinking about the underlying continuities and discontinuities that make the study of magic and superstition a perennially fascinating topic.
Category: History

Magical Transformations On The Early Modern English Stage

Author : Professor Lisa Hopkins
ISBN : 9781472432865
Genre : Performing Arts
File Size : 62.49 MB
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Considering a variety of questions centering on magic and, or in, performance, this volume furthers the debate about the cultural work performed by representations of magic on the early modern English stage. Collectively the essays show that the idea of transformation applies not only to the objects and subjects of magic, but that the plays themselves can be seen as working to effect transformation in the ways that they challenge contemporary assumptions and stereotypes.
Category: Performing Arts

Religion And Culture In Germany

Author : Robert William Scribner
ISBN : 9789004114579
Genre : History
File Size : 38.60 MB
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These most recent essays of the late Bob Scribner show his original and provocative views as a historian on the German Reformation. Subjects covered include popular culture, art, literacy, Anabaptism, witchcraft, Protestantism and magic.
Category: History

Daughters Of Hecate

Author : Kimberly B. Stratton
ISBN : 9780190202149
Genre : Body, Mind & Spirit
File Size : 71.96 MB
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Daughters of Hecate unites for the first time research on the problem of gender and magic in three ancient Mediterranean societies: early Judaism, Christianity, and Graeco-Roman culture. The book illuminates the gendering of ancient magic by approaching the topic from three distinct disciplinary perspectives: literary stereotyping, the social application of magic discourse, and material culture. The authors probe the foundations of, processes, and motivations behind gendered stereotypes, beginning with Western culture's earliest associations of women and magic in the Bible and Homer's Odyssey. Daughters of Hecate provides a nuanced exploration of the topic while avoiding reductive approaches. In fact, the essays in this volume uncover complexities and counter-discourses that challenge, rather than reaffirm, many gendered stereotypes taken for granted and reified by most modern scholarship. By combining critical theoretical methods with research into literary and material evidence, Daughters of Hecate interrogates a false association that has persisted from antiquity, to early modern witch hunts, to the present day.
Category: Body, Mind & Spirit

Patients And Practitioners

Author : Roy Porter
ISBN : 052153061X
Genre : Medical
File Size : 26.48 MB
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The essays in this volume provide an unusual historical perspective on the experience of illness: they try to reconstruct what being ill (from a minor ailment to fatal sickness) was like in pre-industrial society from the point of view of the sufferers themselves. The authors examine the meanings that were attached to sickness; popular medical beliefs and practices; the diffusion of popular medical knowledge; and the relations between patients and their doctors (both professional and 'fringe') seen from the patients' point of view. This is an important work, for illness and death dominated life in earlier societies to an enormous degree. Yet almost no studies of this kind have ever been carried out before, practically all previous treatments having been written from the traditional point of view of the doctor, the hospital, or medical science. It will accordingly interest a wide range of readers interested in social history as well as the history of medicine itself.
Category: Medical

Crime And Punishment In The Middle Ages And Early Modern Age

Author : Albrecht Classen
ISBN : 9783110294583
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 81.43 MB
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All societies are constructed, based on specific rules, norms, and laws. Hence, all ethics and morality are predicated on perceived right or wrong behavior, and much of human culture proves to be the result of a larger discourse on vices and virtues, transgression and ideals, right and wrong. The topics covered in this volume, addressing fundamental concerns of the premodern world, deal with allegedly criminal, or simply wrong behavior which demanded punishment. Sometimes this affected whole groups of people, such as the innocently persecuted Jews, sometimes individuals, such as violent and evil princes. The issue at stake here embraces all of society since it can only survive if a general framework is observed that is based in some way on justice and peace. But literature and the visual arts provide many examples of open and public protests against wrongdoings, ill-conceived ideas and concepts, and stark crimes, such as theft, rape, and murder. In fact, poetic statements or paintings could carry significant potentials against those who deliberately transgressed moral and ethical norms, or who even targeted themselves.
Category: Literary Criticism

Magic And The Supernatural In Medieval English Romance

Author : Corinne J. Saunders
ISBN : 9781843842217
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 46.92 MB
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The themes of magic and the supernatural in medieval romance are here fully explored and put into the context of thinking at the time in this first full study of the subject.
Category: Literary Criticism

Philosophy Begins In Wonder

Author : Michael Funk Deckard
ISBN : 9781630877019
Genre : Religion
File Size : 68.38 MB
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Philosophy begins with wonder, according to Plato and Aristotle. Yet Plato and Aristotle did not expand a great deal on what precisely wonder is. Does this fact alone not raise curiosity in us as to why this passion or concept is important? What is wonder's role in science, philosophy, or theology except to end thinking or theorizing as soon as one begins? The primary purpose of this book is to show how seventeenth- and eighteenth-century developments in natural theology, metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, aesthetics, and the philosophy of science resulted in a complex history of the passion of wonder-a history in which the elements of continuation, criticism, and reformulation are equally present. Philosophy Begins in Wonder provides the first historical overview of wonder and changes the way we see early modern Europe. It is intended for readers who are curious-who wonder-about how modern philosophy and science were born. The book is for scholars and educated readers alike.
Category: Religion

Curse Tablets And Binding Spells From The Ancient World

Author : John G. Gager
ISBN : 0195350626
Genre : History
File Size : 58.26 MB
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In the ancient Greco-Roman world, it was common practice to curse or bind an enemy or rival by writing an incantation on a tablet and dedicating it to a god or spirit. These curses or binding spells, commonly called defixiones were intended to bring other people under the power and control of those who commissioned them. More than a thousand such texts, written between the 5th Century B.C.E. and the 5th Century C.E., have been discovered from North Africa to England, and from Syria to Spain. Extending into every aspect of ancient life--athletic and theatrical competitions, judicial proceedings, love affairs, business rivalries, and the recovery of stolen property--they shed light on a new dimension of classical study previously inaccessible. Here, for the first time, these texts have been translated into English with a substantial translator's introduction revealing the cultural, social, and historical context for the texts. This book will interest historians, classicists, scholars of religion, and those concerned with ancient magic.
Category: History

Music In Renaissance Magic

Author : Gary Tomlinson
ISBN : 0226807924
Genre : History
File Size : 84.25 MB
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Magic enjoyed a vigorous revival in sixteenth-century Europe, attaining a prestige lost for over a millennium and becoming, for some, a kind of universal philosophy. Renaissance music also suggested a form of universal knowledge through renewed interest in two ancient themes: the Pythagorean and Platonic "harmony of the celestial spheres" and the legendary effects of the music of bards like Orpheus, Arion, and David. In this climate, Renaissance philosophers drew many new and provocative connections between music and the occult sciences. In Music in Renaissance Magic, Gary Tomlinson describes some of these connections and offers a fresh view of the development of early modern thought in Italy. Raising issues essential to postmodern historiography—issues of cultural distance and our relationship to the others who inhabit our constructions of the past —Tomlinson provides a rich store of ideas for students of early modern culture, for musicologists, and for historians of philosophy, science, and religion. "A scholarly step toward a goal that many composers have aimed for: to rescue the idea of New Age Music—that music can promote spiritual well-being—from the New Ageists who have reduced it to a level of sonic wallpaper."—Kyle Gann, Village Voice "An exemplary piece of musical and intellectual history, of interest to all students of the Renaissance as well as musicologists. . . . The author deserves congratulations for introducing this new approach to the study of Renaissance music."—Peter Burke, NOTES "Gary Tomlinson's Music in Renaissance Magic: Toward a Historiography of Others examines the 'otherness' of magical cosmology. . . . [A] passionate, eloquently melancholy, and important book."—Anne Lake Prescott, Studies in English Literature
Category: History

The Purpose Of Playing

Author : Louis Montrose
ISBN : 0226534839
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 71.50 MB
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Examines the role of Elizabethan drama in the shape of cultural belief, values, and understanding of political authority.
Category: Literary Criticism

Religion And The Variety Of Culture

Author : Lamin O. Sanneh
ISBN : 1563381664
Genre : Religion
File Size : 81.30 MB
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Here is a provocative analysis of culture in all of its variety, including especially the relationship of religion and Christianity to culture. Lamin Sanneh advocates reconnecting religion and Christianity to culture, realizing that humanity without a sense of transcendence cannot really achieve a fulfillment that is anything but "murky self-centeredness." According to Sanneh, in light of the exigencies of postmodern times world Christianity would do well to embrace an alternative vision - one of global neighborliness - and then effectively model that vision as the new humanity for the twenty-first century and beyond.
Category: Religion