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Abstract only
Eric Pudney

The text of the treatise comprises a list of numbered responses to ‘reasons’, which correspond closely to sections of the printed version of Scot’s Discoverie. The text is provided together with excerpts from the relevant parts of the Discoverie for comparison, and is fully annotated. The author uses a variety of theological sources in addition to biblical quotations, including St Augustine, Calvin, Peter Martyr Vermigli, Cyprian, and Chrysostom. The treatise touches on a range of issues in relation to witchcraft, including the veracity and causes of witches’ confessions, the question of whether accused witches are mentally ill or not, whether witches are guilty of idolatry and apostasy, and the circumstances under which execution is justified. The author presents a thorough critique of Scot’s method, as well as his conclusions.

in A defence of witchcraft belief
Elliot Vernon

at least a casting voyce’ in the decisions of the presbytery. This ‘petite’ episcopacy could not be viewed as a lawful ‘circumstantial’ that the church was free to adopt, for it affronted the scripturally mandated ‘substantials’ by offending against the rule of parity between ministers. 97 This point is essential to understanding Smectymnuus’s position on the presiding ‘angel’ of the presbytery. If the ‘angel’ was indeed a single individual rather than a collective presbytery, such a person held only a situational

in London presbyterians and the British revolutions, 1638–64
Elliot Vernon

presbyterian citizens casting the Army as the principal threat to a presbyterian settlement and the much-hoped-for return to peace-time conditions. The environment of mutual distrust led the common council on 10 December to appoint a largely pro-presbyterian committee to draft another petition to Parliament. 48 This petition, which was presented on 19 December, can be seen as a sequel to May’s Remonstrance. Like its predecessor, it put the city’s religious demands first, calling for adequate maintenance for ministers and renewing

in London presbyterians and the British revolutions, 1638–64
Alexandra Walsham

alleged that Catholicism imprisoned its followers. 8 Simultaneously, from the very beginning Protestantism placed considerable emphasis on the Pauline theme of casting off the old man, ‘which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts’, and putting on a new one, ‘created in righteousness and true holiness’. 9 Derived from 2 Corinthians 5:17, the idea of becoming a ‘new creature’ in Christ played a significant part in the self-identity of early evangelicals. 10 While many absorbed reformed ideas

in Religion and life cycles in early modern England
Abstract only
The ‘lost’ Lancashire witches
Kirsteen Macpherson Bardell

In “The Wonderfull Discoverie,” Thomas Potts explains that the accused were involved in a dark conspiracy, and had all at some time made pacts with the Devil. These were relatively new, imported ideas, imposed upon the evidence by the prosecution. This chapter confirms his skeptical approach to the charge of organized Satanism, casting the net beyond Pendle and 1612 and coming up with evidence of nearly a hundred other cases of witchcraft and magic from the records of the lower courts, the Lancashire Quarter Sessions. Here, magic is accepted as a familiar part of life, with witchcraft merging into the activities of village healers and cunning folk, and with the counter-magic used by ordinary people. The fact that they used spells and charms based on garbled versions of old Catholic prayers shows that the witches and their clients remained untouched by Puritan campaigns of reformation, carrying down the generations elements of the old popular religious culture of Catholic Lancashire.

in The Lancashire witches
Living spirituality

Between 1598 and 1800, an estimated 3, 271 Catholic women left England to enter convents on the Continent. This study focuses more particularly upon those who became Benedictines in the seventeenth century, choosing exile in order to pursue their vocation for an enclosed life. Through the study of a wide variety of original manuscripts, including chronicles, death notices, clerical instructions, texts of spiritual guidance, but also the nuns’ own collections of notes, this book highlights the tensions between the contemplative ideal and the nuns’ personal experiences. Its first four chapters adopt a traditional historical approach to illustrate the tensions between theory and practice in the ideal of being dead to the world. They offer a prosopographical study of Benedictine convents in exile, and show how those houses were both cut-off and enclosed yet very much in touch with the religious and political developments at home. The next fur chapters propose a different point of entry into the history of nuns, with a study of emotions and the senses in the cloister, delving into the textual analysis of the nuns’ personal and communal documents to explore aspect of a lived spirituality, when the body, which so often hindered the spirit, at times enabled spiritual experience.

Abstract only
Peter Murray and Maria Feeney

Chapter 7 concludes the study by first noting how ambivalently clerical sociologists responded to the changes wrought by state planning practice in the 1960s. Demands from champions of such planning that the discipline should begin to play a different societal role are next examined. During the 1970s the Hierarchy combined failure to plan for a continuation of a significant clerical presence among practitioners of sociology with the casting of itself as the conscience of Irish society. The warding off of abortion, contraception and divorce was thereby entrusted to a highly selective but this-worldly `sociological’ empiricism rather than to theological dogmatism. Initially successful, this strategy has become progressively less effective as popular confidence in church leaders has declined dramatically. Detached from the institution the framed the working lives of their disciplinary predecessors, today’s sociologists debate the respective contributions that factors such as higher education levels, economic marginalisation of the poorly educated and the uncovering of hidden histories of the abuse of clerical power have made to this decline.

in Church, state and social science in Ireland
The parable of Dives and Lazarus
Mary Raschko

and social privilege the wealthy enjoy comes at the expense of the poor whom they rob of sustenance. After condemning the wealthy for fleecing the poor, Idley advocates a shift in worldview that should motivate generosity. His argument starts from but then subverts social convention. Casting the poor as servants, Idley points out the respect given to those employed by the wealthy: ‘But and ther com to you a messager fro a kyng or a duke, / ffro on Erle or a knyght or a symple squyere, / In youre best wyse ye woll make hym chiere’ (2.B.2231–3). The rich regularly

in The politics of Middle English parables
Abstract only
Andrew Sneddon

failed to alter the mental world of the educated as rapidly or totally as once thought.6 As Ian Bostridge recently put it: ‘the mechanical philosophy left too much of the old world of spirits and wonders intact to have acted as reason’s exorcist in the casting-out of witchcraft’.7 Since the mid-1990s, historians of witchcraft have adopted a more complex approach to decline. James Sharpe regards the rejection of witchcraft belief by the educated as a result of a number of intellectual, religious and cultural shifts occurring within their mental world; shifts that

in Witchcraft and Whigs
Ralph Keen

his 1548 oration on Luther and the ages of the church.25 Casting Luther in such a role separated him from all the Bugenhagens, Jonases – and Melanchthons – in his circle, setting them among the followers rather than the agents of the movement. Just as the prophetic narratives serve a theological purpose in the biblical canon, and just as the lives of great figures play a pedagogical role in humanism, so should Melanchthon’s depiction of Luther be seen as an integral part of his larger work of elucidating the salient qualities of the Christian life. The Melanchthon

in Luther’s lives