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A late eighteenth-century Dutch witch doctor and his clients
Willem de Blécourt

history of witchcraft studies. The self-educated Dutch folklorist, Tiesing, writing in 1913, tackled the problem openly: ‘people did not consider as superstition everything they do now, because they were firmly convinced of things and events . . . and that which is considered as conclusive, is no superstition for those who believe it’. This practical and relativising remark did not take root. The civilising offensive, in which Tiesing participated himself, overgrew it. ‘Who in witches and ghosts believes, is of his mind bereaved,’ a schoolteacher rhymed in 1949, and his

in Beyond the witch trials
Magic, witchcraft and Church in early eighteenth-century Capua
Augusto Ferraiuolo

, every document is a lie. This is why it is necessary to deconstruct the document as a cultural artefact with the purpose of analysing the nature of its production. Magic, witchcraft and Church in Capua 27 Writing as aporia (expression of doubt) The Inquisitional documents used in the following discussion consist of narratives describing instances of magical practices, and the reasons why people decided to denounce others who were involved in such activities. Before examining their content, it is necessary to consider the conditions of production via which the

in Beyond the witch trials
Sabine Doering-Manteuffel and Stephan Bachter

, bronze-coated cardboard pages measuring 30.5 x 44.5 centimetres. They each have writing on the front and the back, mostly in blood red characters that are or at least appear to be oriental. The sections of text that are formulated in German, the headings in particular, are also written using Latin letters, which are blended with the oriental signs. Statements made by Goethe about the previous owners and age of the book, as well as examinations currently being carried out, suggest that the manuscript dates to around 1750. This means, that the ‘Bibliae Magicae’ of Weimar

in Beyond the witch trials
The discourse of spirits in Enlightenment Bristol
Jonathan Barry

can escape their cognizance and acuteness’, bearing in mind what was being achieved in the way of ventriloquy by ‘Mr Bilinguis’, who was putting on public shows in Bristol at the time. In Durbin’s narrative it is the day after the second part of this letter appeared, on 14 February, that he notes the need for ‘a certain Fact’ to convince the world that the case was not one of imposture,14 and on 18 Public infidelity and private belief? 121 February Dyer reported that Durbin was taking down details of the affair in writing. The next day one of the clergymen

in Beyond the witch trials
Feijoo versus the ‘falsely possessed’ in eighteenth-century Spain
María Tausiet

– appear inextricably linked throughout his exposé. Within the complex of impassioned writing the Devil plays a major role as one might expect. Taking as his guide ‘both the caution necessary to proceed in this area, and the importance of examining everything with the most attentive reflection’,28 Feijoo decided to centre his discourse around ‘the chapters indicated by the Roman ritual’.29 The so-called Rituale Romanum published in 1614 by Pope Paul V to do away with the enormous variety of criteria which had been used for exorcism throughout the Middle Ages, was

in Beyond the witch trials
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
Open Access (free)
A male strategy
Soili-Maria Olli

-making were rather mixed. Certainly, in one case from 1740, three people explicitly pledged to cancel their Christian faith in writing in order to find a hidden treasure with the help of the Devil.21 Such pact-makers were quite aware of the gravity of the offence they were committing before God and the punishment the secular authorities could mete out. When Jöns Hasselgren was tried in 1714, he was asked if he knew what those condemned for Devil’s pact were to expect. Hasselgren answered yes, and that this knowledge had not prevented him from committing the crime, but had

in Beyond the witch trials
Brian Hoggard

or stoneware witch-bottles, but this does not always mean they were concealed around the same time. Written charms can be dated broadly by writing style and context but they rarely have a date written on them. The objects which Counter-witchcraft and popular magic 169 offer the most precise dates are concealed shoes. The staff of the Boot and Shoe Department at Northampton Central Museum and Art Gallery can provide quite narrow date ranges for shoes that they have been allowed to examine. In cases where precise methods of arriving at a date are not available

in Beyond the witch trials