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Norse Terror in the Late Eighteenth to Early Nineteenth Centuries
Robert Rix

Antiquarian efforts to revive Old Norse poetry brought about an interest in Germanic superstition that could be exploited by literary writers. This article examines a subspecies of terror writing which took inspiration from Norse literature. Compared to the Catholic settings of many Gothic novels, Norse-inflected writing provided an alternative. It is a little known fact that the Old Norse religion and literature was used as a prism through which Britains ethnically Gothic past could be viewed and negotiated. The article discusses some examples of how the fashion for thrills was combined with a national project to recover a sense of ancestral heroism.

Gothic Studies
Lorena Russell

In Alien3 Lt Ellen Ripley finds herself in a nightmare scenario. She has crash-landed on an abandoned prison planet, ‘Fury 161’, surrounded by a remnant of the inmate population (twenty-five prisoners, a medical officer and two administrators who have opted to remain in a care-taking capacity after the prison/refinery was closed). The prisoners are a violent group of rapists and murderers with double-y chromosome coding, who can only seem to control their excessive expressions of masculinity by fanatically embracing a fundamentalist religion. Ripley sums up the group as ‘a bunch of lifers who found God at the ass-end of space’. On one level, this setting begs for a story of male homosexuality: an all-male prison planet filled with sexual aggressors could be the recipe for a gay male porn classic. Instead, it becomes a tale of excessive masculinity manifested through heterosexual fears and desires. I want to take this discrepancy between homo-possibilities and hetero-manifestations as my point of departure to explore how Alien3s engagement with the Gothic diverts and expresses anxieties about queer masculinity, desire, and sexuality.

Gothic Studies
Felicity Loughlin

Cicero and many other ancient texts informed the Scots’ understanding of pagan religion. Yet, to an eighteenth-century European, ‘paganism’ meant any religious beliefs and practices that were distinct from the Abrahamic traditions of Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Scottish investigations of pagan antiquity thus extended far beyond Greece and Rome. Herodotus, Plutarch and Strabo were consulted for details of Egyptian, Persian and Indian supernaturalism, while reports of modern pagans in non-European lands supplied deficiencies in the ancient records. The Scottish

in The supernatural in early modern Scotland
Martha McGill and Alasdair Raffe

, those defending the Christian religion against unbelievers. Alexander Hume, as we saw above, stressed the connection between Creation and providence. By observing the world around us, he argued, we become aware of God’s Creation and providential work. The fitness of human physiology, for example, proves ‘the Creator to be a singular artificer’, and should prompt us to ‘admire the wisedome and providence of the most high’. 21 Sir William Anstruther of Anstruther, a senator of the college of justice, made the argument more explicitly in 1701, a time of growing concern

in The supernatural in early modern Scotland
Julian Goodare and Martha McGill

’ – the process by which good and bad spirits were differentiated. 3 Julian Goodare’s study of witch-hunting sets it in the context of broader processes including folk belief and magical practice. 4 Edward Bever’s study of the ‘realities’ of ‘witchcraft and popular magic’ should be noted particularly for the way in which it, too, ranges beyond witchcraft and opens up a realm not of ‘belief’ but of magical action and experience. 5 England has also been well surveyed. Keith Thomas’s celebrated Religion and the Decline of Magic (1971) covered a wide range of

in The supernatural in early modern Scotland
Domhnall Uilleam Stiùbhart

This chapter examines and reassesses some accounts from early modern Scotland referring to a constellation of diverse supernatural abilities, primarily relating to premonition and clairvoyance, often described in English as Second Sight, and in Scottish Gaelic as an dà shealladh or taibhsearachd . It is indebted to the scholarship of numerous historians of early modern thought, religion and popular belief, in particular the work of Michael Hunter, whose annotated sourcebook The Occult Laboratory offers an essential and accessible introduction to the

in The supernatural in early modern Scotland
Martha McGill

, 2009 ), p. 26 . 16 Ibid. , pp. 23, 24, 124. 17 Sir David Lindsay of the Mount , Works , ed. Douglas Hamer , 4 vols ( Edinburgh : STS , 1931–36 ), I , p. 364 , lines 5586–95. 18 See Douglas Hamer , ‘Notes: Ane Satyre of the Thrie Estaitis’ , in Lindsay, Works , IV , p. 153 . 19 [ Walter Lindsay ], ‘September 1591: the present state of the Catholic religion in Scotland’ , in Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 4, 1587–1603 , ed. Martin A. S. Hume ( London : HMSO , 1899 ), pp. 587–92 . There is another version in

in The supernatural in early modern Scotland
Jane Ridder- Patrick

affairs, nor any condemnation of the practice of natural philosophical astrology, with one proviso: that God be acknowledged as the first cause of any power it might have. As Calvin put it in his influential textbook of the Protestant faith, Institutes of the Christian Religion : If the government of God … extends to all his works, it is a childish cavil to confine it to natural influx. Those moreover who confine the providence of God within narrow limits, as if he allowed all things to be borne along freely according to a perpetual law of nature, do not more

in The supernatural in early modern Scotland
Sermons and the supernatural in post-Reformation Scotland
Michelle D. Brock

beliefs in ‘grey-zone’ beings like fairies and ghosts, few in Scotland would have denied that they lived in a world populated by demons, angels, witches and, of course, God. 24 During the early Enlightenment, when some rationalists attempted to exclude most supernatural phenomena from the realm of the possible, most learned Scots were primarily concerned with defending organised religion from the perceived threat of atheism. 25 Yet ministers did employ the label of ‘supernatural’ to identify forces and truths that the godly should not only believe in, but aspire to

in The supernatural in early modern Scotland
Trance in early modern Scotland
Georgie Blears

It may be supposed not repugnant to Reason or Religion to assert ane invisible polity, or a people to us invisible, having a Commonwealth, Laws & Oeconomy, made known to us but by some obscure hints of a few admitted to their Converse. (Robert Kirk, c .1689) 1 In early modern Scotland, as in the rest of Europe, there was an entrenched belief that humanity’s terrestrial world existed alongside ‘ane invisible polity’. This chapter is about those few exceptional people who developed a relationship with this spiritual other world, whether by receiving

in The supernatural in early modern Scotland