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.
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
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
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 “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.
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.
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.
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
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;
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