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Abstract only
Brian Sudlow

that the link between pluralism and irreligion is not substantiated by the evidence, or go as far as to claim that competition between religions ‘strengthens religious organisations and increases the overall level of religious participation’. 30 In the long term, neutrality appears as a myth that veils secularising tendencies, not in its intentions but in its sociological effects. Ironically, so many of the political or economic projects of the last few centuries, nationalism, socialism, capitalism, imperialism, as well as the forces of

in Catholic literature and secularisation in France and England, 1880–1914
Open Access (free)
A late eighteenth-century Dutch witch doctor and his clients
Willem de Blécourt

opinion met with increasing approval. In Drenthe, as in other provinces of the Netherlands, it was the local elite, consisting of schoolteachers, physicians and ministers, who joined in battle against ‘superstition’ or ‘misbelief ’. They constituted an echelon of the Society for the Public Welfare, who had already held a competition in 1798 to eradicate the ‘prejudices about Divinations, as well as those about Charming of Devils, Witchcrafts and Hauntings’.1 In this chapter I want to not just proceed beyond the witch trials, but also beyond superstition. For witchcraft

in Beyond the witch trials
Brian Sudlow

society, La Tour du Pin worked out a theory of social order at the heart of which lay what he called the ‘régime corporatif’. Workers individually and corporately must have rights before the State, protecting them from exploitation and from the effects of uncontrolled competition; it was a theory which, like Cavanaugh’s Eucharistic counter-politics, affirmed essentially that individuals had a stake in one another’s lives. Instead of the nation being underpinned by a binary model of individual–State, La Tour du Pin felt it should be underpinned by a tripartite model of

in Catholic literature and secularisation in France and England, 1880–1914
Sabine Doering-Manteuffel and Stephan Bachter

hands of those who were not so much concerned with philosophical knowledge of the world as with their own immediate applicable benefits.51 In the shadows cast by the light of the Enlightenment, the transmission of magical knowledge was easier than ever before, and its impact far-reaching, with ripples reaching us today in the form of the current popularity of esoteric literature. Not surprisingly, the spread of occult literature was viewed as unwelcome competition by religious authorities. When, in the 1920s, a Munich occult bookshop had advertisements sent out to

in Beyond the witch trials
Open Access (free)
Witchcraft and the symbolics of hierarchy in late seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century Finland
Raisa Maria Toivo

the prime cause of witchcraft accusations in research. As far as a local community and its social dynamics are concerned, social conflict and competition are obviously important. Yet settling for such an explanation runs the risk of belittling the belief in witchcraft and simplifying it as a scapegoat for something supposedly more rational. To illustrate this point, we can look in more detail at the events surrounding Agata and her prosecutions. An inverted hierarchy and the world of negation Agata Pekantytär had lived in the village for a long time. She had been

in Beyond the witch trials