Search results

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 129 items for :

  • "demonology" x
  • Refine by access: All content x
Clear All
Abstract only
Languages of colonial conflict after 1900

Stirring language and appeals to collective action were integral to the battles fought to defend empires and to destroy them. These wars of words used rhetoric to make their case. This book explores the arguments fought over empire in a wide variety of geographic, political, social and cultural contexts. Essays range from imperialism in the early 1900s, to the rhetorical battles surrounding European decolonization in the late twentieth century. Rhetoric is one of the weapons of war. Conquest was humiliating for Afrikaners but they regained a degree of sovereignty, with the granting of responsible government to the new colonies in 1907 and independence with the Act of Union of 1910. Liberal rhetoric on the Transvaal Crisis was thus neither an isolated debate nor simply the projection of existing political concerns onto an episode of imperial emergency. President Franklin D. Roosevelt's principles of intervention in response to crimes against civilization, constituted a second corollary to the Monroe Doctrine. The rhetorical use of anti-imperial demonology was useful in building support for New Deal legislation. The book argues that rhetoric set out to portray the events at Mers el-Kebir within a culturally motivated framework, drawing on socially accepted 'truths' such as historic greatness and broad themes of hope. Now, over 175 years of monarchical presence in New Zealand the loyalty may be in question, devotion scoffed, the sycophantic language more demure and colloquialized, the medium of expression revolutionized and deformalized, but still the rhetoric of the realm remains in New Zealand.

A sixteenth-century response to Reginald Scot’s Discoverie of Witchcraft

This book is the first published edition of a previously unknown manuscript treatise on the theological underpinnings of witchcraft belief in late sixteenth-century England. The treatise comprises a point-by-point response to the most famous early modern English work on witchcraft, Reginald Scot’s Discoverie of Witchcraft (1584). It was written by a personal friend of Scot’s, and internal evidence demonstrates that it offers critical feedback on a now-lost draft version of the Discoverie prior to the publication of that book, providing a rebuttal to Scot’s arguments in much greater detail than any other extant text, and showing precisely why his views were so controversial in their own time. The treatise is also a highly original and sophisticated theoretical defence of witchcraft belief in its own right, and the author’s position is based on detailed scriptural and theological arguments which are not found in any other English writings on the subject. The treatise’s arguments connect witchcraft belief to Reformed Protestant ideas about conscience, the devil, and the correct interpretation of scripture, and demonstrate the broader significance of witchcraft belief within this intellectual framework. It thereby provides evidence that the debate on witchcraft, as represented by the more dogmatic and formulaic printed works on the subject, shied away from the underlying issues which the author of the treatise (in a work never intended for publication) tackles explicitly.


This book situates witchcraft drama within its cultural and intellectual context, highlighting the centrality of scepticism and belief in witchcraft to the genre. It is argued that these categories are most fruitfully understood not as static and mutually exclusive positions within the debate around witchcraft, but as rhetorical tools used within it. In drama, too, scepticism and belief are vital issues. The psychology of the witch character is characterised by a combination of impious scepticism towards God and credulous belief in the tricks of the witch’s master, the devil. Plays which present plausible depictions of witches typically use scepticism as a support: the witch’s power is subject to important limitations which make it easier to believe. Plays that take witchcraft less seriously present witches with unrestrained power, an excess of belief which ultimately induces scepticism. But scepticism towards witchcraft can become a veneer of rationality concealing other beliefs that pass without sceptical examination. The theatrical representation of witchcraft powerfully demonstrates its uncertain status as a historical and intellectual phenomenon; belief and scepticism in witchcraft drama are always found together, in creative tension with one another.

Open Access (free)
Demonological descriptions of male witches
Lara Apps
Andrew Gow

reputation that demonological texts have as documents of barbarity, superstition, and irrationality. H.R. Trevor-Roper, for example, said of them that To read these encyclopedias of witchcraft is a horrible experience. Each seems to outdo the last in cruelty and absurdity. Together they insist that every grotesque detail of demonology is true, that

in Male witches in early modern Europe
Eric Pudney

the use of witchcraft in association with, and in contrast to, the idea of divinely ordained monarchy. There are, as I have argued, Elizabethan precedents for this juxtaposition in some chronicle history plays; but they differ from the Jacobean examples considered here. The Jacobean plays’ use of witchcraft is much more stylised, aiming for a clarity of contrast between witchcraft and royalty that is absent in the Elizabethan examples, and they also make more extensive use of learned demonology. These distinctive features are at their most visible in Ben Jonson

in Scepticism and belief in English witchcraft drama, 1538–1681
Abstract only
Shakespeare and the supernatural
Victoria Bladen
Yan Brailowsky

As James I described, the Devil was ‘God's hangman’. 37 As Philip C. Almond points out, ‘the history of God in the West is also the history of the Devil, and the history of theology also the history of demonology’. 38 Satan was perceived as ever present in the world, along with his company of evil spirits, part of the network of invisible forces that charged the physical world. As Thomas relates, ‘men thus became accustomed to Satan's immediacy’; and ‘once the

in Shakespeare and the supernatural
One experience inspiring generically divergent publications
Amy G. Tan

: something Bernard did not attempt in a similar way with any other publication. Although scholars have discussed both of these works within (for Isle ) studies of literature and allegory and (for Guide ) studies of witchcraft and demonology, there has been remarkably little attention to the ways in which the two were direct and swift responses to Bernard’s experiences during

in The pastor in print
The idioms and risks of defiance in the trial of Margaretha Horn, 1652
Alison Rowlands

patriachal elite’, whose statements and confessions were simply forced rehashings of that elite’s demonology.1 On the contrary – and despite the fact that power over the trial process lay ultimately with the council – alleged witches were capable of contributing to and of shaping the course of interrogations in idiosyncratic ways. At the same time, however, the trial of Margaretha shows that it was becoming increasingly problematic for women accused of witchcraft in early modern Rothenburg to articulate defiance against their accusers and the council without this defiance

in Witchcraft narratives in Germany

Christian dualism originated in the reign of Constans II (641-68). It was a popular religion, which shared with orthodoxy an acceptance of scriptual authority and apostolic tradition and held a sacramental doctrine of salvation, but understood all these in a radically different way to the Orthodox Church. One of the differences was the strong part demonology played in the belief system. This text traces, through original sources, the origins of dualist Christianity throughout the Byzantine Empire, focusing on the Paulician movement in Armenia and Bogomilism in Bulgaria. It presents not only the theological texts, but puts the movements into their social and political context.

Abstract only
P.G. Maxwell-Stuart

This section presents Part I of The Malleus Maleficarum, one of the best-known treatises dealing with the problem of what to do with witches, written in 1487 by a Dominican inquisitor, Heinrich Institoris. Part I is addressed to fellow theologians, and is devoted to showing that the conspiratorial pact between workers of harmful magic and evil spirits is no fantasy but a present reality, and that the cause of the increasing numbers of witches lies in the sexual relations between women and evil spirits. It is thus an extended essay in demonology rather than a handbook.

in The Malleus Maleficarum