Search results

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 17 items for :

  • "scepticism" x
  • Manchester Religious Studies x
Clear All
Feijoo versus the ‘falsely possessed’ in eighteenth-century Spain
María Tausiet

how and with what instrument to do so’:50 Let the exorcist when he comes across one of these people, make him clean out his mouth and spit out all its contents, and he will see, unless it is the devil he spits out, no longer can he imitate birdsong. It is true there are exorcists who are so fanciful that seeing them spit out a bit of leek or cabbage leaf, or some herb or other . . . will swear that it is the Devil transformed into what came out of the mouth.51 These and other investigations confirmed the monk in his scepticism 52 Beyond the witch trials

in Beyond the witch trials
Open Access (free)
Alison Rowlands

legal procedure in the handling of witch-trials, a factor which was also of paramount importance in explaining the relative paucity of witch-trials in other parts of Germany.3 Torture was used with restraint and often not at all in the Rothenburg trials, thus ensuring that all accused (as opposed to self-confessed) witches were able to maintain their denials of guilt. Serious legal action was never taken against those individuals accused by self-confessed witches of having been seen at witches’ dances. This was due partly to an elite scepticism about the reality

in Witchcraft narratives in Germany
S.J. Barnett

, Toland, Tindal, Collins (listed as a freethinker), Erasmus Darwin, Diderot, Thomas Paine and Alberto Radicati – across the whole of Europe in the whole of the century. 27 It hardly needs pointing out that this figure does not, no matter how much we might qualify the term, constitute grounds for the identification of a movement, even an English one consisting of relatively ‘small numbers’ as Clark has put it in his English Society 1688–1832 (1985).28 It is hardly surprising, therefore, that one commentator has ventured that scepticism had less support from the 1690s to

in The Enlightenment and religion
The discourse of spirits in Enlightenment Bristol
Jonathan Barry

, reflecting on Mr G——s’ family and insinuating that the justices of the country ought to punish them for that which is really an affliction permitted of God’. A number of themes are being developed here, including the fear, widespread at this time, that the press could be abused to harm private reputations,15 together with the associated denigration of coffee-house debating and Walpolean Whiggery (both implied by ‘Robbin-hood’) as centres of a shallow public opinion based on destructive scepticism.16 The believers had begun to develop their public case. We do not know who

in Beyond the witch trials
Elite beliefs about witchcraft and magic
Alison Rowlands

delusion, and legal caution Most elite scepticism was expressed in the records of witchcraft cases from Rothenburg about witches’ sabbats and the flights to them. The jurists and clerics who commented on these issues tended to believe that sabbats did not take place in reality, but that self-confessed witches and other people who claimed to have seen witches’ gatherings had been deluded by the devil into imagining that they had done so. This view was first recorded by jurist Cunradt 56 WITCHCRAFT NARRATIVES IN GERMANY Thalhaimer in 1582, when he suggested that

in Witchcraft narratives in Germany
Open Access (free)
Beyond the witch trials
Owen Davies and Willem de Blécourt

awkward process of divorcing themselves from popular concerns and beliefs regarding witchcraft. This shift led, it would seem, to some considerable consternation amongst the witch-believing public as to what was and was not regarded as criminal. Yet while the criminal basis of witchcraft was increasingly undermined by legal circumspection regarding the nature of evidence, and broader intellectual scepticism concerning the reality of witchcraft, beneficial magic remained a crime even though it was rationalised according to intellectual developments. This is particularly

in Beyond the witch trials
The first child-witch in Rothenburg, 1587
Alison Rowlands

a witches’ gathering might really have occurred in Hilgartshausen, concerned enough about the spiritual good of the boy who had apparently been taken to it, and – ultimately – frustrated enough by his inconsistent testimony about the affair, to abandon momentarily its usually cautious legal approach in its efforts to investigate the case. In Chapter 2 I argued that elite opinion in Rothenburg on the question of whether or not witches’ dances and the flights to them took place in the imagination or in reality tended to veer towards scepticism. However, this

in Witchcraft narratives in Germany
Open Access (free)
Demonological descriptions of male witches
Lara Apps and Andrew Gow

scepticism must be stifled, that sceptics and lawyers who defend witches are themselves witches, that all witches, ‘good’ or ‘bad’, must be burnt, that no excuse, no extenuation is allowable … When we read these monstrous treatises, we find it difficult to see their authors as human beings. 1 The historiographical tide is shifting, and several

in Male witches in early modern Europe
S.J. Barnett

. That is to say, from a range of fairly common-or-garden possible politico-religious responses to the pressure of events and developments, one happened to be chosen that ostensibly resembled a known option within past intellectual frameworks. We might term this a context-interactive or organic process of intellectual change, which is of course very different from the traditional notion of influence proceeding in some disembodied intellectual form from one text to another. Once Bayle was deemed to have opened the breach for Enlightenment scepticism, leading to what

in The Enlightenment and religion
Peter Maxwell-Stuart

publishers rather than any deep or active concern in the crime of magic. It would seem that there was neither an outright rejection of the concept of witchcraft nor a great willingness to prosecute. Legal thought on the matter was far from unified though. George Mackenzie, writing in 1678, expressed scepticism regarding the prosecution of witchcraft and rebuked the willingness of judges to accept dubious evidence, yet over forty years later William Forbes was more accepting of the continued relevance of the crime.46 But more important, perhaps, in its effects than these

in Beyond the witch trials