Religion and the Decline of Magic

Overview

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 ...

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Overview

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.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140137446
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 4/25/2012
  • Edition description: New
  • Pages: 880
  • Sales rank: 275,020
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgements
Table of Abbreviations
Prologue
1 The Environment 3
2 The Magic of the Medieval Church 25
3 The Impact of the Reformation 51
4 Providence 78
5 Prayer and Prophecy 113
6 Religion and the People 151
7 Magical Healing 177
8 Cunning Men and Popular Magic 212
9 Magic and Religion 253
10 Astrology: its Practice and Extent 283
11 Astrology: its Social and Intellectual Role 323
12 Astrology and Religion 358
13 Ancient Prophecies 389
14 Witchcraft in England: the Crime and its History 435
15 Witchcraft and Religion 469
16 The Making of a Witch 502
17 Witchcraft and its Social Environment 535
18 Witchcraft: Decline 570
19 Ghosts and Fairies 587
20 Times and Omens 615
21 Some Interconnections 631
22 The Decline of Magic 641
Index 669
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