Supernatural and Secular Power in Early Modern England

Author: Marcus Harmes,Victoria Bladen

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317048369

Category: History

Page: 250

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For the people of early modern England, the dividing line between the natural and supernatural worlds was both negotiable and porous - particularly when it came to issues of authority. Without a precise separation between ’science’ and ’magic’ the realm of the supernatural was a contested one, that could be used both to bolster and challenge various forms of authority and the exercise of power in early modern England. In order to better understand these issues, this volume addresses a range of questions regarding the ways in which ideas, beliefs and constructions of the supernatural threatened and conflicted with authority, as well as how the power of the supernatural could be used by authorities (monarchical, religious, legal or familial) to reinforce established social norms. Drawing upon a range of historical, literary and dramatic texts the collection reveals intersecting early modern anxieties in relation to the supernatural, issues of control and the exercise of power at different levels of society, from the upper echelons of power at court to local and domestic spaces, and in a range of publication contexts - manuscript sources, printed prose texts and the early modern stage. Divided into three sections - ’Magic at Court’, ’Performance, Text and Language’ and ’Witchcraft, the Devil and the Body’ - the volume offers a broad cultural approach to the subject that reflects current research by a range of early modern scholars from the disciplines of history and literature. By bringing scholars into an interdisciplinary dialogue, the case studies presented here generate fresh insights within and between disciplines and different methodologies and approaches, which are mutually illuminating.

The Supernatural in Tudor and Stuart England

Author: Darren Oldridge

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317278208

Category: History

Page: 176

View: 2753

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The Supernatural in Tudor and Stuart England reflects upon the boundaries between the natural and the otherworldly in early modern England as they were understood by the people of the time. The book places supernatural beliefs and events in the context of the English Reformation to show how early modern people reacted to the world of unseen spirits and magical influences. It sets out the conceptual foundations of early modern encounters with the supernatural, and shows how occult beliefs penetrated almost every aspect of life. Darren Oldridge considers many of the spiritual forces that pervaded early modern England: an immanent God who sometimes expressed Himself through ‘signs and wonders’ and the various lesser inhabitants of the world of spirits including ghosts, goblins, demons and angels. He explores human attempts to comprehend, harness or accommodate these powers through magic and witchcraft, and the role of the supernatural in early modern science. This book presents a concise and accessible up-to-date synthesis of the scholarship of the supernatural in Tudor and Stuart England. It will be essential reading for students of early modern England, religion, witchcraft and the supernatural.

Witchcraft, the Devil, and Emotions in Early Modern England

Author: Charlotte-Rose Millar

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134769881

Category: History

Page: 230

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This book represents the first systematic study of the role of the Devil in English witchcraft pamphlets for the entire period of state-sanctioned witchcraft prosecutions (1563-1735). It provides a rereading of English witchcraft, one which moves away from an older historiography which underplays the role of the Devil in English witchcraft and instead highlights the crucial role that the Devil, often in the form of a familiar spirit, took in English witchcraft belief. One of the key ways in which this book explores the role of the Devil is through emotions. Stories of witches were made up of a complex web of emotionally implicated accusers, victims, witnesses, and supposed perpetrators. They reveal a range of emotional experiences that do not just stem from malefic witchcraft but also, and primarily, from a witch’s links with the Devil. This book, then, has two main objectives. First, to suggest that English witchcraft pamphlets challenge our understanding of English witchcraft as a predominantly non-diabolical crime, and second, to highlight how witchcraft narratives emphasized emotions as the primary motivation for witchcraft acts and accusations.

Modern Enchantments

Author: Simon DURING

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674034392

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 352

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Magic, Simon During suggests, has helped shape modern culture. Devoted to this deceptively simple proposition, During's superlative work, written over the course of a decade, gets at the aesthetic questions at the very heart of the study of culture. How can the most ordinary arts--and by magic, During means not the supernatural, but the special effects and conjurings of magic shows--affect people? Modern Enchantments takes us deeply into the history and workings of modern secular magic, from the legerdemain of Isaac Fawkes in 1720, to the return of real magic in nineteenth-century spiritualism, to the role of magic in the emergence of the cinema. Through the course of this history, During shows how magic performances have drawn together heterogeneous audiences, contributed to the molding of cultural hierarchies, and extended cultural technologies and media at key moments, sometimes introducing spectators into rationality and helping to disseminate skepticism and publicize scientific innovation. In a more revealing argument still, Modern Enchantments shows that magic entertainments have increased the sway of fictions in our culture and helped define modern society's image of itself.

Penury into Plenty

Dearth and the Making of Knowledge in Early Modern England

Author: Ayesha Mukherjee

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317575962

Category: History

Page: 270

View: 1443

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Penury into Plenty: Dearth and the Making of Knowledge in Early Modern England is an original examination of cultural meanings of dearth and famine in England at the turn of the sixteenth century. It focuses on the socio-economic and ecological crises of the 1590s, investigating the effects of widespread fears of famine on mundane activities and knowledge making by analyzing the remedial measures undertaken by the early modern English to illustrate their commitment to resource management. The activities, theories, and publications of the prolific ‘dearth scientist’ Sir Hugh Platt are considered alongside other forms of literature such as sermons, plays, poetry and prose fiction to explain not only what dearth or famine meant in the period, but how contemporaries understood sustainable resource management. By drawing upon environmental, economic, scientific, and literary history and theory, Penury into Plenty allows modern readers to see that sustainability is not a wholly modern concept and the investigation of cultural forms of ecological consciousness and social consequences of past environmental change is vital for understanding contemporary concerns.

Enchantment and Dis-enchantment in Shakespeare and Early Modern Drama

Wonder, the Sacred, and the Supernatural

Author: Nandini Das,Nick Davis

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

ISBN: 1317290682

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 194

View: 4477

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This volume addresses dealings with the wondrous, magical, holy, sacred, sainted, numinous, uncanny, auratic, and sacral in the plays of Shakespeare and contemporaries, produced in an era often associated with the irresistible rise of a thinned-out secular rationalism. By starting from the literary text and looking outwards to social, cultural, and historical aspects, it comes to grips with the instabilities of ‘enchanted’ and ‘disenchanted’ practices of thinking and knowledge-making in the early modern period. If what marvelously stands apart from conceptions of the world’s ordinary functioning might be said to be ‘enchanted’, is the enchantedness weakened, empowered, or modally altered by its translation to theatre? We have a received historical narrative of disenchantment as a large-scale early modern cultural process, inexorable in character, consisting of the substitution of a rationally understood and controllable world for one containing substantial areas of mystery. Early modern cultural change, however, involves transpositions, recreations, or fresh inventions of the enchanted, and not only its replacement in diminished or denatured form. This collection is centrally concerned with what happens in theatre, as a medium which can give power to experiences of wonder as well as circumscribe and curtail them, addressing plays written for the popular stage that contribute to and reflect significant contemporary reorientations of vision, awareness, and cognitive practice. The volume uses the idea of dis-enchantment/re-enchantment as a central hub to bring multiple perspectives to bear on early modern conceptualizations and theatricalizations of wonder, the sacred, and the supernatural from different vantage points, marking a significant contribution to studies of magic, witchcraft, enchantment, and natural philosophy in Shakespeare and early modern drama.

In Defense of Secular Humanism

Author: Paul Kurtz

Publisher: Prometheus Books

ISBN: 1615926402

Category: Philosophy

Page: 273

View: 9854

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Are the fundamentalists shaking the foundations of the American republic?When they condemn humanism's influence in the schools, are they not actually attacking modern education, science, culture, and philosophy?Is it possible to be moral without benefit of clergy or creed?Can humanism help open doors so that individuals, singly and in cooperation with others, can create lives that are rich in enjoyment, eloquent and meaningful?What is humanism, and why have humanists come under attack by religious conservatives and the fundamentalist right? Humanism is not a dogma or a creed, writes Paul Kurtz. Humanists have confidence in human beings, and they believe that the only bases for morality are human experience and human needs. Humanists are opposed to all forms of supernaturalistic and authoritarian religion. Many humanists believe that scientific intelligence and critical reason can assist in reconstructing our moral lives . . . Humanists believe in freedom and pluralistic democracy as virtually our first principle, and we are disturbed by any authoritarian effort to impose one point of view on America. Defense of the open, democratic society should be the first point humanists make in response to the Moral Majority, making it clear that in our reading of the American tradition, pluralism is essential.In Defense of Secular Humanism is a volume of collected essays by one of the leading exponents of secular humanism. It is a closely reasoned defense of one of the most venerable ethical, scientific and philosophical traditions within Western civilization.Paul Kurtz (Amherst, NY), professor emeritus of philosophy at the State University of New York at Buffalo, is president of the International Academy of Humanism and is one of the leading spokespersons for Secular Humanism today. He is the author or editor of over thirty-five books, including most recently Embracing the Power of Humanism (Rowman & Littlefield) and The Courage to Become (Praeger/Greenwood).

Discerning Spirits

Divine and Demonic Possession in the Middle Ages

Author: Nancy Caciola

Publisher: Cornell University Press

ISBN: 9780801473340

Category: History

Page: 352

View: 8856

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Trance states, prophesying, convulsions, fasting, and other physical manifestations were often regarded as signs that a person was seized by spirits. In a book that sets out the prehistory of the early modern European witch craze, Nancy Caciola shows how medieval people decided whom to venerate as a saint infused with the spirit of God and whom to avoid as a demoniac possessed of an unclean spirit. This process of discrimination, known as the discernment of spirits, was central to the religious culture of Western Europe between 1200 and 1500. Since the outward manifestations of benign and malign possession were indistinguishable, a highly ambiguous set of bodily features and behaviors were carefully scrutinized by observers. Attempts to make decisions about individuals who exhibited supernatural powers were complicated by the fact that the most intense exemplars of lay spirituality were women, and the "fragile sex" was deemed especially vulnerable to the snares of the devil. Assessments of women's spirit possessions often oscillated between divine and demonic interpretations. Ultimately, although a few late medieval women visionaries achieved the prestige of canonization, many more were accused of possession by demons. Caciola analyzes a broad array of sources from saints' lives to medical treatises, exorcists' manuals to miracle accounts, to find that observers came to rely on the discernment of bodies rather than seeking to distinguish between divine and demonic possession in purely spiritual terms.

Bishops and Power in Early Modern England

Author: Marcus K. Harmes

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 1472509188

Category: History

Page: 224

View: 3877

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Armed with pistols and wearing jackboots, Bishop Henry Compton rode out in 1688 against his King but in defence of the Church of England and its bishops. His actions are a dramatic but telling indication of what was at stake for bishops in early modern England and Compton's action at the height of the Restoration was the culmination of more than a century and a half of religious controversy that engulfed bishops. Bishops were among the most important instruments of royal, religious, national and local authority in seventeenth-century England. While their actions and ideas trickled down to the lower strata of the population, poor opinions of bishops filtered back up, finding expression in public forums, printed pamphlets and more subversive forms including scurrilous verse and mocking illustrations. Bishops and Power in Early Modern England explores the role and involvement of bishops at the centre of both government and belief in early modern England. It probes the controversial actions and ideas which sparked parliamentary agitation against them, demands for religious reform, and even war. Bishops and Power in Early Modern England examines arguments challenging episcopal authority and the counter-arguments which stressed the necessity of bishops in England and their status as useful and godly ministers. The book argues that episcopal writers constructed an identity as reformed agents of church authority. Charting the development of this identity over a hundred and fifty years, from the Reformation to the Restoration, this book traces the history of early modern England from an original and highly significant perspective. This book engages with many aspects of the social, political and religious history of early modern England and will therefore be key reading for undergraduates and postgraduates, and researchers working in the early modern field, and anyone who has an interest in this period of history.

Reformations

The Early Modern World, 1450-1650

Author: Carlos M. N. Eire

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 0300220685

Category: History

Page: 928

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This fast-paced survey of Western civilization’s transition from the Middle Ages to modernity brings that tumultuous period vividly to life. Carlos Eire, popular professor and gifted writer, chronicles the two-hundred-year era of the Renaissance and Reformation with particular attention to issues that persist as concerns in the present day. Eire connects the Protestant and Catholic Reformations in new and profound ways, and he demonstrates convincingly that this crucial turning point in history not only affected people long gone, but continues to shape our world and define who we are today. The book focuses on the vast changes that took place in Western civilization between 1450 and 1650, from Gutenberg’s printing press and the subsequent revolution in the spread of ideas to the close of the Thirty Years’ War. Eire devotes equal attention to the various Protestant traditions and churches as well as to Catholicism, skepticism, and secularism, and he takes into account the expansion of European culture and religion into other lands, particularly the Americas and Asia. He also underscores how changes in religion transformed the Western secular world. A book created with students and nonspecialists in mind, Reformations is an inspiring, provocative volume for any reader who is curious about the role of ideas and beliefs in history.

Witchcraft and Magic in Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Century Europe

Author: Geoffrey Scarre,John Callow

Publisher: Macmillan International Higher Education

ISBN: 1137243341

Category: History

Page: 112

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The figure of the witch still has the ability to exert a powerful fascination on the modern mind. The vision of the elderly crone begging for charity at the crossroads, an object of fear and revulsion for her local community, has combined with the memory of prolonged judicial persecution and oppression to inspire contemporary movements as far removed from each other as Wiccans and women's liberation. In tackling such an emotive issue, where misogyny and violence combine with superstition and the basest of human instincts, Scarre and Callow chart a clear and refreshingly level-headed approach to the subject. Distinguishing between fact and fiction, they set the witch trials firnly back within the context of their own times and, without seeking to exonerate those responsible, demonstrate how it was possible for judiciaries and social elites to believe wholeheartedly in the reality and efficacy of witchcraft as a valid system of belief and as a dangerous threat to the fabric of society in which they lived. This new edition has been comprehensively updated to take account of the vast expansion in interest and scholarly research that has taken place in the field since the publication of the first edition. This work provides a provocative thesis for those seeking to understand the basis for the politics of persecution and a firm interpretative basis around which further exploratory research may be conducted.

New Age Religion and Western Culture

Esotericism in the Mirror of Secular Thought

Author: Wouter J. Hanegraaff

Publisher: SUNY Press

ISBN: 9780791438541

Category: Body, Mind & Spirit

Page: 580

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Presents the first systematic analysis of the structure and beliefs of the New Age movement, and the historical emergence of "New Age" as a secularized version of Western esoteric traditions.

Awash in a Sea of Faith

Christianizing the American People

Author: Jon Butler

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 9780674056015

Category: History

Page: 360

View: 4956

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Challenging the formidable tradition that places early New England Puritanism at the center of the American religious experience, Yale historian Jon Butler offers a new interpretation of three hundred years of religious and cultural development. Butler stresses the instability of religion in Europe where state churches battled dissenters, magic, and astonishingly low church participation. He charts the transfer of these difficulties to America, including the failure of Puritan religious models, and describes the surprising advance of religious commitment there between 1700 and 1865. Through the assertion of authority and coercion, a remarkable sacralization of the prerevolutionary countryside, advancing religious pluralism, the folklorization of magic, and an eclectic, syncretistic emphasis on supernatural interventionism, including miracles, America emerged after 1800 as an extraordinary spiritual hothouse that far eclipsed the Puritan achievementâe"even as secularism triumphed in Europe. Awash in a Sea of Faith ranges from popular piety to magic, from anxious revolutionary war chaplains to the cool rationalism of James Madison, from divining rods and seer stones to Anglican and Unitarian elites, and from Virginia Anglican occultists and Presbyterians raised from the dead to Jonathan Edwards, Joseph Smith, and Abraham Lincoln. Butler deftly comes to terms with conventional themes such as Puritanism, witchcraft, religion and revolution, revivalism, millenarianism, and Mormonism. His elucidation of Christianityâe(tm)s powerful role in shaping slavery and of a subsequent African spiritual âeoeholocaust,âe with its ironic result in African Christianization, is an especially fresh and incisive account. Awash in a Sea of Faith reveals the proliferation of American religious expressionâe"not its declineâe"and stresses the creative tensions between pulpit and pew across three hundred years of social maturation. Striking in its breadth and deeply rooted in primary sources, this seminal book recasts the landscape of American religious and cultural history.

Jerusalem

Or on Religious Power and Judaism

Author: Moses Mendelssohn

Publisher: Brandeis University Press

ISBN: 1611685176

Category: Social Science

Page: 262

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A translation of the famous 18th-century German treatise with introduction and detailed commentary

Other Icons

Art and Power in Byzantine Secular Culture

Author: Eunice Dauterman Maguire,Henry Maguire

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: Art

Page: 201

View: 7319

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A winged centaur with the spotted body of a leopard playing a lute; a naked man with an animal head; a goat-footed Pan; a four-bodied lion; sphinxes, and hippocamps. Few would associate these forms of art with the Byzantine era, a period dominated by religious art. However, an art of strikingly secular expression was not only common to Byzantine culture, but also key to defining it. In Other Icons, Eunice Dauterman Maguire and Henry Maguire offer the first comprehensive view of this "unofficial" Byzantine art, demonstrating the role it played and its dialogue with traditional Christian Byzantine art. This beautifully illustrated book creates an entirely new understanding of the whole of Byzantine art and culture. With its wide-ranging examples, the book vividly demonstrates how the surprise of this "profane" art is not only in its subjects of mythic creatures, exotic imagery, and eroticism, but also in the ubiquity and beauty of their placement--within churches and without, woven into silk, illuminated on manuscripts, engraved into pottery, painted in frescoes, and taking life in marble, bone, and ivory. By presenting and exploring this profane art for the first time in a scholarly book in English, Other Icons will change the way we look at the art of an entire era.

Witchcraft and Magic in Europe, Volume 4

The Period of the Witch Trials

Author: Bengt Ankerloo,Stuart Clark,William Monter

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 1441127437

Category: History

Page: 288

View: 5500

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The fifteenth to eighteenth centuries was a period of witchcraft prosecutions throughout Europe and modern scholars have now devoted a huge amount of research to these episodes. This volume will attempt to bring this work together by summarising the history of the trials in a new way - according to the types of legal systems involved. Other topics covered will be the continued practical use made of magic, the elaboration of demonological theories about witchcraft and magic, and the further development of scientific interests in natural magic through the Neoplatonic and Hermetic period.Amongst the topics included here are Superstition and Belief in high and popular culture, the place of Medicine, Witchcraft survivals in art and literature, and the survival of Persecution.

The Duchess of Malfi

Author: John Webster

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category:

Page: 152

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"The Duchess of Malfi" was published in 1623, but the date of writing may have been as early as 1611. It is based on a story in Painter's "Palace of Pleasure," translated from the Italian novelist, Bandello; and it is entirely possible that it has a foundation in fact. In any case, it portrays with a terrible vividness one side of the court life of the Italian Renaissance; and its picture of the fierce quest of pleasure, the recklessness of crime, and the worldliness of the great princes of the Church finds only too ready corroboration in the annals of the time ...

Atheist Delusions

The Christian Revolution and Its Fashionable Enemies

Author: David Bentley Hart

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 0300155646

Category: History

Page: 268

View: 6477

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Religious scholar Hart argues that contemporary antireligious polemics are based not only upon conceptual confusions but upon facile simplifications of history and provides a powerful antidote to the New Atheists' misrepresentations of the Christian past.

The God Delusion

Author: Richard Dawkins

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1784161926

Category: Atheism

Page: 496

View: 448

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The God Delusion caused a sensation when it was published in 2006. Within weeks it became the most hotly debated topic, with Dawkins himself branded as either saint or sinner for presenting his hard-hitting, impassioned rebuttal of religion of all types. His argument could hardly be more topical. While Europe is becoming increasingly secularized, the rise of religious fundamentalism, whether in the Middle East or Middle America, is dramatically and dangerously dividing opinion around the world. In America, and elsewhere, a vigorous dispute between 'intelligent design' and Darwinism is seriously undermining and restricting the teaching of science. In many countries religious dogma from medieval times still serves to abuse basic human rights such as women's and gay rights. And all from a belief in a God whose existence lacks evidence of any kind. Dawkins attacks God in all his forms. He eviscerates the major arguments for religion and demonstrates the supreme improbability of a supreme being. He shows how religion fuels war, foments bigotry and abuses children. The God Delusion is a brilliantly argued, fascinating polemic that will be required reading for anyone interested in this most emotional and important subject.

Belief and Unbelief in Medieval Europe

Author: John H. Arnold

Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic

ISBN: 9780340807866

Category: History

Page: 328

View: 1846

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Historians have no record of what the people who lived in medieval Europe between 1100-1500 did or did not believe regarding their Christian faith. This penetrating study sifts through the traces of evidence left across Europe to assemble a more complete picture. While religion in medieval Europe was a central part of people's lives and affected even the most mundane aspects of everyday existance, the period was far from uniform as the "Age of Faith". By focusing on lay people, this comprehensive analysis unlocks the multiple meanings of religion, asking how it functioned and what effect it had on the population, revealing the meanings and struggles that lay behind the misleading, commonly held myth of ubiquitous religious life in medieval Europe.