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The discourse of spirits in Enlightenment Bristol
Jonathan Barry

of Keith Thomas and others regarding the ‘decline of magic’ and ‘secularisation’ of healing in the eighteenth century.6 Outwardly a typical enlightened humanitarian in a modern profession, Dyer’s own beliefs and medical activities, and those of the circle he moved in, with their extensive interests in electrical and chemical medicine, were shown to arise from their Pietist and anti-materialist philosophies, which attracted them to spiritual accounts of nature and its powers, as embodied in such movements as Hutchinsonianism, Behmenism and, later, Swedenborgianism

in Beyond the witch trials