Download Religion and the Decline of Magic Studies in popular beliefs in sixteenth and seventeenth century England Book î 736 pages À Gymapparel

Text Religion and the Decline of Magic Studies in popular beliefs in sixteenth and seventeenth century England

Download Religion and the Decline of Magic Studies in popular beliefs in sixteenth and seventeenth century England Book î 736 pages À Gymapparel ¹ ➮ [Ebook] ➩ Religion and the Decline of Magic Studies in popular Y liable to pain sickness and premature death many were illiterate epidemics such as the bubonic plague plowed through English towns at times cutting the number of London's inhabitants by a sixth fire was a constant threat the food supply was precarious and for most diseases there was no effective medical remedy In this fascinating and detailed book Keith Thomas shows how magic like the medieval Church offered an explanation for misfortune and a means of redress in times of adversity The supernatural thus had its own practical utility in daily life Some fo

Keith Thomas ✓ Religion and the Decline of Magic Studies in popular beliefs in sixteenth and seventeenth century England Mobi

Rms of magic were challenged by the Protestant Reformation but only with the increased search for scientific explanation of the universe did the English people begin to abandon their recourse to the supernatural Science and technology have made us less vulnerable to some of the hazards which confronted the people of the past Yet Religion and the Decline of Magic concludes that if magic is defined as the employment of ineffective techniues to allay anxiety when effective ones are not available then we must recognize that no society will ever be free from it I first read ‘Religion and the Decline of Magic’ as part of a social history course in the mid 1970s and was totally impressed It was one of the first multidisciplinary approaches I had come across Over forty years later I was drawn to read it again and found it had lost none of its power and charm It doesn’t read like an academic book at all so many intriguing details of life in the period brought together with theoretical broad strokes stories of magic inside and outside of religion of witchcraft and of beliefs around the period of the reformation I am not sure how it holds up academically after so many years but it still continues to entertain

Mobi Ó Religion and the Decline of Magic Studies in popular beliefs in sixteenth and seventeenth century England ✓ Keith Thomas

Religion and the Decline of Magic Studies in popular beliefs in sixteenth and seventeenth century EnglandAstrology witchcraft magical healing divination ancient prophecies the Decline Kindle #212 ghosts and fairies were taken Religion and PDF or very seriously by people at all social and economic levels in sixteenth and and the Decline PDF #197 seventeenth century England Helplessness in the face of disease and human disaster helped and the Decline of Magic eBook #203 to perpetuate this belief in magic and the supernatural As Keith Thomas shows England during these years resembled in many ways today's underdeveloped areas The English population was exceedingl This is a collection of topical papers than a continuous book Some essays are stronger interesting convincing than others A couple even contradict one another leading me to suppose that the author wrote them some years apart But it is well written and certainly worth picking up if you are interested in this period or subject The central uestion as stated by the author is Why did intelligent people believe in magic In the category of magic Thomas includes astrology witchcraft magical healing divination ancient prophecies ghosts and fairies and other systems of belief now all rightly disdained by intelligent persons To answer this uestion Thomas employs anthropological methods basing his premises on the conclusions of anthropologists on African religious and magical practices His own sources are solely English but he posits that his observations and conclusions are not particular to England and could be applied to the rest of the British Isles and the Continent with similar accuracy Thomas argues in response to his own uestion that the practices he examines seemed to be discharging a role very close to that of the established Church and its rivals He posits that contemporary religion and magical systems of belief can be juxtaposed in order to illuminate one another He also attempts to explain the mental climate in terms of its relationship to the material climate Accordingly he begins his book with a section entitled Environment in which he lays out the characteristics of a pre Industrial society gives a demographic overview of Tudor and Stuart England and briefly describes its class distinctions educational standards and professional breakdown He describes this England as a dynamic and infinitely various society where social and intellectual change had long been at work and where currents were moving in many different directionsOne of the central features of the beliefs with which Thomas is concerned was a preoccupation with the explanation and relief of human misfortune This stemmed naturally enough from the insecurity of life under the hazardous conditions of the medieval and early modern world Life expectancy was low food scarce sickness freuent and often inexplicable Thomas identifies this helplessness in the face of disease as an essential element in the background of the beliefs Given the primitive state of orthodox medicine it is not surprising that many people preferred to rely on folk remedies or magical cures which likely had a similar success rate as well as being less painful and easier to comprehend Other threats such as crop failure fire and other natural disasters were also warded off by magical means Thomas points out that magical thinking was not a universal response to these problems; many people turned to alcohol as an alternative or additional source of comfortThe second section of the book The Magic of the Medieval Church opens with the assertion that Nearly every primitive religion is regarded by its adherents as a medium for obtaining supernatural power This does not prevent it from functioning as a system of explanation a source of moral injunctions a symbol of social order or a route to immortality; but it does mean that it offers the prospect of a supernatural means of control over man's earthly environment The history of Christianity offers no exception to this rule Thomas goes on to describe many of the superstitious practices relating to the c