This fascinating study looks at how the seemingly incompatible forces of science, magic, and religion came together in the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries to form the foundations of modern culture.
Author: Allison Coudert
Category: Body, Mind & Spirit
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.
Studies in Popular Beliefs in Sixteenth and Seventeenth-Century England
Author: Keith Thomas
Publisher: Penguin UK
"Explores the practice of alchemy in the context of the religious and political tensions in late Elizabethan and early Stuart England, and the use of occult knowledge to demonstrate proof of theological doctrines"--Provided by publisher.
Occultism in the Religious Culture of Early Modern England
Author: Bruce Janacek
Publisher: Penn State Press
Category: Body, Mind & Spirit
The astrologer-physician Richard Napier (1559-1634) was not only a man of practical science and medicine but also a master of occult arts and a devout parish rector who purportedly held conversations with angels. This new interpretation of Napier reveals him to be a coherent and methodical man whose burning desire for certain, true knowledge contributed to the contemporary venture of putting existing knowledge to useful ends. Originally trained in theology and ordained as an Anglican priest, Napier later studied astrological medicine and combined astrology, religious thought, and image and ritual magic in his medical work. Ofer Hadass draws on a remarkable archive of Napier’s medical cases and religious writings—including the interviews he claimed to have held with angels—to show how Napier’s seemingly inconsistent approaches were rooted in an inclusive and coherent worldview, combining equal respect for ancient authority and for experientially derived knowledge. Napier’s endeavors exemplify the fruitful relationship between religion and science that offered a well-founded alternative to the rising mechanistic explanation of nature at the time. Carefully researched and compellingly told, Medicine, Religion, and Magic in Early Stuart England is an insightful exploration of one of the most fascinating figures at the intersection of medicine, magic, and theology in early modern England and of the healing methods employed by physicians of the era.
Richard Napier's Medical Practice
Author: Ofer Hadass
Publisher: Penn State Press
This is a concise but wide-ranging account of all aspects of the Scientific Revolution from astronomy to zoology. The third edition has been thoroughly updated, and some sections revised and extended, to take into account the latest scholarship and research and new developments in historiography.
Author: John Henry
Publisher: Macmillan International Higher Education
In Wonder Shows, Fred Nadis offers a colorful history of these traveling magicians, inventors, popular science lecturers, and other presenters of “miracle science” who revealed science and technology to the public in awe-inspiring fashion. The book provides an innovative synthesis of the history of performance with a wider study of culture, science, and religion from the antebellum period to the present.
Performing Science, Magic, and Religion in America
Author: Fred Nadis
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
Category: Games & Activities
There are no clear demarcation lines between magic, astrology, necromancy, medicine, and even sciences in the pre-modern world. Under the umbrella term 'magic,' the contributors to this volume examine a wide range of texts, both literary and religious, both medical and philosophical, in which the topic is discussed from many different perspectives. The fundamental concerns address issue such as how people perceived magic, whether they accepted it and utilized it for their own purposes, and what impact magic might have had on the mental structures of that time. While some papers examine the specific appearance of magicians in literary texts, others analyze the practical application of magic in medical contexts. In addition, this volume includes studies that deal with the rise of the witch craze in the late fifteenth century and then also investigate whether the Weberian notion of disenchantment pertaining to the modern world can be maintained. Magic is, oddly but significantly, still around us and exerts its influence. Focusing on magic in the medieval world thus helps us to shed light on human culture at large.
The Occult in Pre-Modern Sciences, Medicine, Literature, Religion, and Astrology
Author: Albrecht Classen
Publisher: Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG
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.
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
A fascinating study of natural and demonic magic within the broad context of medieval culture.
Author: Richard Kieckhefer
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Exploring the elements of reality in early modern witchcraft and popular magic, through a combination of detailed archival research and broad-ranging interdisciplinary analyses, this book complements and challenges existing scholarship, and offers unique insights into this murky aspect of early modern history.
Culture, Cognition and Everyday Life
Author: E. Bever
Treason and magic were first linked together during the reign of Edward II. Theories of occult conspiracy then regularly led to major political scandals, such as the trial of Eleanor Cobham Duchess of Gloucester in 1441. While accusations of magical treason against high-ranking figures were indeed a staple of late medieval English power politics, they acquired new significance at the Reformation when the "superstition" embodied by magic came to be associated with proscribed Catholic belief. Francis Young here offers the first concerted historical analysis of allegations of the use of magic either to harm or kill the monarch, or else manipulate the course of political events in England, between the 14th century and the dawn of the Enlightenment. His book addresses a subject usually either passed over or elided with witchcraft: a quite different historical phenomenon. He argues that while charges of treasonable magic certainly were used to destroy reputations or to ensure the convictions of undesirables, magic was also perceived as a genuine threat by English governments into the Civil War era and beyond.
A History of Sorcery and Treason
Author: Francis Young
Publisher: International Library of Histo
“Excellent. . . . Tucker’s chronicle of the world of 17th-century science in London and Paris is fascinating.”—The Economist In December 1667, maverick physician Jean Denis transfused calf’s blood into one of Paris’s most notorious madmen. Days later, the madman was dead and Denis was framed for murder. A riveting exposé of the fierce debates, deadly politics, and cutthroat rivalries behind the first transfusion experiments, Blood Work takes us from dissection rooms in palaces to the streets of Paris, providing an unforgettable portrait of an era that wrestled with the same questions about morality and experimentation that haunt medical science today.
Author: Holly Tucker
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
This interdisciplinary volume examines the role of sensation in the religious transformations of early modern Europe. Sensation was both central to the doctrinal disputes of the Reformation and critical in shaping new or reformed devotional practices.
Author: Wietse de Boer,Christine Göttler
From Medieval to Early Modern Europe
Author: Steven P. Marrone
'. . . as when iron is drawn to a magnet, camphor is sucked into hot air, crystal lights up in the Sun, sulfur and a volatile liquid are kindled by flame, an empty eggshell filled with dew is raised towards the Sun . . .' An odd feature of the Bible is that it is full of stories featuring forms of magic and possession - from Joseph battling with Pharaoh's wizards to the supernatural actions of Jesus and his disciples. As, over the following centuries, the Christian church attempted to stamp out 'deviant' practices, there was a persistent interest in magic that drew strength from this Biblical validation. A strange blend of mumbo-jumbo, fraud and deeply serious study, magic was central to the European Renaissance, fascinating many of its greatest figures. Brian Copenhaver's wonderful anthology will be welcomed by everyone from those with the most casual interest in the magical tradition to anyone drawn to the Renaissance and the tangled, arcane roots of the scientific tradition.
From Antiquity to the Enlightenment
Author: Brian Copenhaver
Publisher: Penguin UK
During the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries a group of monks with occult interests donated what became a remarkable collection of more than thirty magic texts to the library of the Benedictine abbey of St. Augustine’s in Canterbury. The monks collected texts that provided positive justifications for the practice of magic and books in which works of magic were copied side by side with works of more licit genres. In Magic in the Cloister, Sophie Page uses this collection to explore the gradual shift toward more positive attitudes to magical texts and ideas in medieval Europe. She examines what attracted monks to magic texts, in spite of the dangers involved in studying condemned works, and how the monks combined magic with their intellectual interests and monastic life. By showing how it was possible for religious insiders to integrate magical studies with their orthodox worldview, Magic in the Cloister contributes to a broader understanding of the role of magical texts and ideas and their acceptance in the late Middle Ages.
Pious Motives, Illicit Interests, and Occult Approaches to the Medieval Universe
Author: Sophie Page
Publisher: Penn State Press
Throughout its long history, Japan had no concept of what we call “religion.” There was no corresponding Japanese word, nor anything close to its meaning. But when American warships appeared off the coast of Japan in 1853 and forced the Japanese government to sign treaties demanding, among other things, freedom of religion, the country had to contend with this Western idea. In this book, Jason Ananda Josephson reveals how Japanese officials invented religion in Japan and traces the sweeping intellectual, legal, and cultural changes that followed. More than a tale of oppression or hegemony, Josephson’s account demonstrates that the process of articulating religion offered the Japanese state a valuable opportunity. In addition to carving out space for belief in Christianity and certain forms of Buddhism, Japanese officials excluded Shinto from the category. Instead, they enshrined it as a national ideology while relegating the popular practices of indigenous shamans and female mediums to the category of “superstitions”—and thus beyond the sphere of tolerance. Josephson argues that the invention of religion in Japan was a politically charged, boundary-drawing exercise that not only extensively reclassified the inherited materials of Buddhism, Confucianism, and Shinto to lasting effect, but also reshaped, in subtle but significant ways, our own formulation of the concept of religion today. This ambitious and wide-ranging book contributes an important perspective to broader debates on the nature of religion, the secular, science, and superstition.
Author: Jason Ananda Josephson
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
An hommage to Gad Freudenthal, this volume offers studies on the history of science and on the role of science in medieval and early-modern Jewish cultures, investigating various aspects of processes of knowledge transfer and scientific cross-cultural contacts,
A Tribute to Gad Freudenthal
Author: Resianne Fontaine
Category: Social Science