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Brian Hoggard

9 Beyond the witch trials Counter-witchcraft and popular magic The archaeology of counter-witchcraft and popular magic Brian Hoggard One aspect of the study of witchcraft and magic, which has not yet been absorbed into the main stream of literature on the subject, is the archaeological record of the subject. Objects such as witch-bottles, dried cats, horse skulls, shoes, written charms and numerous other items have been discovered concealed inside houses in significant quantities from the early modern period until well into the twentieth century. The locations

in Beyond the witch trials
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Brian Sudlow

This book is based on a paradox and a coincidence. The paradox is that at the end of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, a period of profound secularisation in France, there emerged a generation of Catholic writers and intellectuals who were convinced that the rumours about God’s death had been greatly exaggerated. The coincidence is that, in the same period, English literature too saw a significant revival in Catholic writing. In France, the late novels of Joris Karl Huysmans, the plays of Paul Claudel and the religious

in Catholic literature and secularisation in France and England, 1880–1914
Brian Sudlow

In this chapter we will attempt to synthesise some of the most common accounts of the history of secularisation in France and England during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Our aim is to arrive at some understanding of the nature of individual and societal secularisation in England and France, and assess, in spite of the vast differences, what correlations can be drawn between the two countries. This will help us understand more clearly the preoccupations of the French and English Catholic authors and the conditions of belief under which they

in Catholic literature and secularisation in France and England, 1880–1914
Brian Sudlow

early twentieth centuries. In the first set of problems we must include the dilemmas of belief and unbelief by which ultimate purposes for action are embraced or rejected. Another issue following logically from this first is that if faith posits God as the ultimate purpose or destiny of human action, in what ways could Catholic literature imaginatively depict the problem of moral autonomy from God? Two additional issues exemplify the dilemmas just raised. First, the theme of homosexuality found in some Catholic writings highlights the

in Catholic literature and secularisation in France and England, 1880–1914
Author: Brian Sudlow

This book is a comparative study of the French and English Catholic literary revivals of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. These parallel but mostly independent movements include writers such as Charles Péguy, Paul Claudel, J. K. Huysmans, Gerard Manley Hopkins, G. K. Chesterton and Lionel Johnson. Rejecting critical approaches that tend to treat Catholic writings as exotic marginalia, this book makes extensive use of secularisation theory to confront these Catholic writings with the preoccupations of secularism and modernity. It compares individual and societal secularisation in France and England and examines how French and English Catholic writers understood and contested secular mores, ideologies and praxis, in the individual, societal and religious domains. The book also addresses the extent to which some Catholic writers succumbed to the seduction of secular instincts, even paradoxically in themes which are considered to be emblematic of the Catholic literature.

Author: Laura Varnam

The church as sacred space places the reader at the heart of medieval religious life, standing inside the church with the medieval laity in order to ask what the church meant to them and why. It examines the church as a building, idea, and community, and explores the ways in which the sanctity of the church was crucial to its place at the centre of lay devotion and parish life. At a time when the parish church was facing competition for lay attention, and dissenting movements such as Lollardy were challenging the relevance of the material church, the book examines what was at stake in discussions of sanctity and its manifestations. Exploring a range of Middle English literature alongside liturgy, architecture, and material culture, the book explores the ways in which the sanctity of the church was constructed and maintained for the edification of the laity. Drawing on a wide range of contemporary theoretical approaches, the book offers a reading of the church as continually produced and negotiated by the rituals, performances, and practices of its lay communities, who were constantly being asked to attend to its material form, visual decorations, and significance. The meaning of the church was a dominant question in late-medieval religious culture and this book provides an invaluable context for students and academics working on lay religious experience and canonical Middle English texts.

Brian Sudlow

usefully framed as ways of envisaging the reconciliation of humanity with God and itself. In spite of Benson’s taste for State coercion, this way of reading sainthood and suffering is perhaps most clearly exemplified by his novels. Between the conditions of unbelief and the inconsistencies of the anti-secularists we are left with the challenge of summing up what secularisation theory can reveal to us about French and English Catholic writings in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Fundamentally, this literature does not depict a

in Catholic literature and secularisation in France and England, 1880–1914
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A context for The Faerie Queene
Margaret Christian

in which works of art have been produced, but some works using this approach have been criticized for reckless generalization – extrapolating whole climates of thought from small morsels of contemporary gossip or single anecdotes – and for reading every text and historical situation for its analysis of power relations, ignoring other motivations for the production of art and the practice of religion. Among the historical studies produced in the second half of the twentieth century are a handful that drew attention to annotations in early printed copies of The

in Spenserian allegory and Elizabethan biblical exegesis
Brian Sudlow

, it was in some measure a response to the hostility of Protestantism towards Catholicism. Lord Alfred Douglas, the former lover of Oscar Wilde, who was to convert in the early years of the twentieth century, was led towards the Catholic Church by ‘finding out all the lies that had been taught me at school and at Oxford […] The theory that the Church of England is a “branch of the Catholic Church” […] seems to me to be demonstrably false.’ 12 For many Catholic converts, and not just writers, the process of conversion was seen not as the completion of a belief whose

in Catholic literature and secularisation in France and England, 1880–1914
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Beyond the witch trials
Owen Davies and Willem de Blécourt

, 1982). 2 Marijke Gijsiwjt and Willem Frijhoff (eds), Nederland betoverd. Toverij en hekserij van de veertiende tot in de twintigste eeuw (Amsterdam, 1987) [published in a reduced English edition as Witchcraft in the Netherlands from the Fourteenth to the Twentieth Century (Rotterdam, 1991)]; Robert Muchembled (ed.), Magie et sorcellerie en Europe du Moyen Age à nos jours (Paris, 1994); Jonathan Barry, Marianne Hester and Gareth Roberts (eds), Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge, 1996); Julian Goodare (ed.), The Scottish Witch-Hunt in Context (Manchester

in Beyond the witch trials