This book looks at aspects of the continuation of witchcraft and magic in Europe from the last of the secular and ecclesiastical trials during the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, through to the nineteenth century. It provides a brief outline of witch trials in late seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century Finland. By the second half of the seventeenth century, as the witch trials reached their climax in Sweden, belief in the interventionist powers of the Devil had become a major preoccupation of the educated classes. Having acknowledged the slight possibility of real possession by the Devil, Benito Feijoo threw himself wholeheartedly into his real objective: to expose the falseness of the majority of the possessed. The book is concerned with accusations of magic, which were formalised as denunciations heard by the Inquisition of the Archdiocese of Capua, a city twelve miles north of Naples, during the first half of the eighteenth century. 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. As a part of the increasing interest in 'popular' culture, historians have become more conscious of the presence of witchcraft after the witch trials. The aftermath of the major witch trials in Dalarna, Sweden, demonstrates how the authorities began the awkward process of divorcing themselves from popular concerns and beliefs regarding witchcraft.
This book presents a contemporary, eyewitness account of the life of Martin Luther translated into English. Johannes Cochlaeus (1479–1552) was present in the great hall at the Diet of Worms on April 18, 1521 when Luther made his famous declaration before Emperor Charles V: ‘Here I stand. I can do no other. God help me. Amen’. Afterward, Cochlaeus sought Luther out, met him at his inn, and privately debated with him. Luther wrote of Cochlaeus, ‘may God long preserve this most pious man, born to guard and teach the Gospel of His church, together with His word, Amen’. However, the confrontation left Cochlaeus convinced that Luther was an impious and malevolent man. Over the next twnety-five years, Cochlaeus barely escaped the Peasant's War with his life. He debated with Melanchthon and the reformers of Augsburg. It was Cochlaeus who conducted the authorities to the clandestine printing press in Cologne, where William Tyndale was preparing the first English translation of the New Testament (1525). For an eyewitness account of the Reformation—and the beginnings of the Catholic Counter-Reformation—no other historical document matches the first-hand experience of Cochlaeus. After Luther's death, it was rumoured that demons seized the reformer on his death-bed and dragged him off to Hell. In response to these rumours, Luther's friend and colleague Philip Melanchthon wrote and published a brief encomium of the reformer in 1548. Cochlaeus consequently completed and published his monumental life of Luther in 1549.
Clergy, orality and print in the Scottish Gaelic world
activity was shared with other monasteries of similar type, some of them
founded by Columba, in Ireland.3 Although the record is by no means
complete, the work of the monastic scribes associated with early Gaelic
churches appears to have been sustained in Scotland until the twelfth century.
It appears saliently in a pocket gospel-book, associated with the monastery
of Old Deer in Buchan, Aberdeenshire, in the early years of that century.
The spoken word
The north-eastern provenance of the manuscript is worth noting. While it is
by no means clear that the
Ian Ramsey, theology and
‘trans-disciplinary’ medical ethics
During the 1960s and 1970s Anglican theologians increasingly
endorsed ‘trans-disciplinary’ discussion of new procedures such as
IVF in societies and journals dedicated to medical ethics.1 Although
theological engagement with medical ethics was by no means new,
it increased from the 1960s thanks to a decline in religious belief.
Figures such as Ian Ramsey, an Oxford theologian and later Bishop
of Durham, endorsed greater engagement with social and moral
issues to maintain the Church’s relevance in
Milton, Harrington and the Williamite monarchy, 1698–1714
war against tyranny and prejudice
contemporaries (especially clergymen) reviled the ‘revived impertinences’ of
Toland’s ‘commonwealth fictions’. Toland was a ‘spiteful young fellow’ who
had disturbed the ‘sacred ashes’ of Charles I’s memory. In his assault on the
Stuart monarchy and in particular on his attempted erasure of the commemorative sermons of 30 January, ‘Milton Junior’ executed ‘as fatal a stroke to the
Royal Martyr’s reputation, as the Ax did his life’.5
Toland’s radical disposition against the orthodoxies of Church and State
had been rapidly established
embezzled church moneys,
since she cut oﬀ a certain sum of money, which was intended for the subsidy
of another brother’s promotion to the Doctorate at Nuremberg. For this reason
it came about that when that brother discovered the fraud and the fact that
the money had been taken away from him, he ﬂed away secretly because of
his sorrow and indignation, and no one knows to this day where he went.
But since Luther, who was adorned with the title of Doctor and prefect of
the Ordinary Reading 6 in Theology, was an extremely keen debater and
desirous of vainglory, he wished to
reported by persons from their home villages that they at times had tried to
heal men as well as horses and other animals. Both of the sisters seemed to
be disliked and feared by other people, and five years earlier Håll Karin had
in spite of her own denial been convicted for having used magic to harm one
of her neighbours’ cows.12 Twelve other women escaped the death penalty,
but received other punishments instead. Some of them had to pay fines, while
others were to be put in the stocks in front of the church on two Sundays.
These women were, however, not
for nothing was 1792 known as am bliadhna nan
caoraich, ‘the year of the sheep’ – while at home the pain and anger attendant
Witchcraft and magic in Scotland
upon these changes was channelled, at least in part during the 1790s and
early 1800s, into a short-lived wave of religious enthusiasm which swept
through much of the Highlands.7
The attack upon Gaelic was both encouraged and led by the Churches.
The eighteenth century did not look kindly upon either the Episcopal Church,
which found itself in disgrace after 1745 because of its alleged support for
were beaten and mistreated. But what was significant for this book was why
certain regions were selected, and what they signified. According to the Serbs’
own accounts, a form of defensive ethnic cleansing had to take place to avoid
a repetition of the Second World War.
The Orthodox Church also contributed to the increasing paranoia.
Spiritual Genocide (1994) outlined a continuous desecration of Serbian
churches, claiming that more than 400 had been destroyed since 1941,
leading the author
employed and entered his house, she was treated differently from a Christian wetnurse who worked part-time in the house of Abraham de Sacerdote,
another Jew prosecuted by the Inquisition for this offence. Further, there are two
examples where the Jewish infant was taken to live in the Christian wetnurse’s
home during the whole period of nursing. Therefore one must hesitate to make
This chapter is divided into four parts. The first deals with a history of the
Church’s prohibition of Jews hiring Christian wetnurses and servants and the
second presents a