Religion and the Decline of Magic: Studies in Popular Beliefs in Sixteenth and Seventeenth-Century England
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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The patient's urine was taken to be the best guide to his condition, and there
were some practitioners who even thought it enough to see the urine without the
patient, though the Royal College of Physicians condemned this habit.15 It was
The attentions of a qualified physician were effectively beyond their reach,
because there was a severely limited supply of trained men. The Royal College
of Physicians had been set up in 1518 to supervise and license physicians
practising in ...
complaints that it was only the wealthy who could regularly afford a physician. '
Physic,' declared Bishop Latimer in 1552, 'is a remedy prepared only for rich folks
and not for poor; for the poor man is not able to wage the physician.' At the end of
Some of the most intelligent laymen of the day expressed total contempt for
conventional medicine; and the unorthodox empirics hounded by the Royal
College of Physicians often turned out to have influential champions.43 King
James I ...
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This is a mighty big book! I don't remember when I started it... probably a couple years ago. I would generally read one chapter at a time, then read another book or two before reading the next ... Read full review
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"The real question at issue here is what enables us to read a source ‘against the grain’, and here theory does indeed come in. Theory of whatever kind, whether it is a general set of theses about how ... Read full review
Cunning Men and Popular Magic
Magic and Religion
its Practice and Extent
its Social and Intellectual Role
Astrology and Religion
THE APPEAL TO THE PAST 13 Ancient Prophecies WITCHCRAFT
the Crime and its History
Witchcraft and Religion
The Decline of Magic
Prayer and Prophecy 6 Religion and the People
The Making of a Witch
Witchcraft and its Social Environment