Read Religion and the Decline of Magic: Studies in Popular Beliefs in Sixteenth and Seventeenth-Century England (Penguin History) by Keith Thomas Online


Witchcraft, astrology, divination, and every kind of popular magic flourished in England during the 16th and 17th centuries, from the belief that a blessed amulet could prevent the assaults of the Devil to the use of the same charms to recover stolen goods At the same time the Protestant Reformation attempted to take the magic out of religion, and scientists were developing new explanations of the universe Keith Thomass classic analysis of beliefs held on every level of English society begins with the collapse of the medieval Church and ends with the changing intellectual atmosphere around 1700, when science and rationalism began to challenge the older systems of belief....

Title : Religion and the Decline of Magic: Studies in Popular Beliefs in Sixteenth and Seventeenth-Century England (Penguin History)
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ISBN : 0140137440
Format Type : Paperback
Language : English
Publisher : Penguin UK New edition January 1, 2003
Number of Pages : 880 pages
File Size : 787 KB
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Religion and the Decline of Magic: Studies in Popular Beliefs in Sixteenth and Seventeenth-Century England (Penguin History) Reviews

  • Old Jim
    2019-05-05 22:56

    Be prepared for a long, difficult read if you start this book and read it to its conclusion. However, if you pay attention and finish it you will know more about the temper of the times of the 16th and 17th century and the surrounding times in England than you ever thought possible. The value to your future analysis of contemporary society is substantial. Not a book for the faint of heart.

  • JRon
    2019-05-24 19:03

    Thirty-five years ago Keith Thomas made a considerable contribution to the historical literature on religion and magic in England from the medieval period to around 1700. Whether or not one agrees with all of his conclusions, historians today can no longer treat these topics without reference to Thomas. Thomas's central argument revolves around the shifting interactions between religion and magic and the emergent rationalism that displaced magic and tempered religious belief. However, no authority or sectarian group completely purged magic from English religious or popular beliefs.

  • Peter S. Bradley
    2019-05-05 17:46

    Reading this book is like trying to take a sip from a fire hose. The author makes his points by citing example after example, and in the process establishes in the mind of the reader the certain fact that the world prior to the 17th century - and maybe the 20th century - was completely different from the world that we who live in the First World during the 20th century are blessed to inhabit.

  • Juan B. Mansfield
    2019-05-25 20:38

    A lot of historic information that will surprise you when you compared against superstitions you heard in your family or are still practiced.

  • BobinPV
    2019-05-11 15:40

    A somewhat academic work that is full of information and fact. Travels back to ancient history and up through current theologies. This is not an argument for or against any sect just the history of religious developments.

  • Melvin H. Pritchard
    2019-05-02 16:45

    A classic of the historiography of early Modern England that should read by those interested in the history of popular religion and scientific thinking...

  • Stillwaters
    2019-05-01 18:44

    This in one of those few books that come along in your life time that can truly be termed a Classic and Indispensable. Learned, profound, wise and meticulous to a fault. Every page contains a nugget of knowledge that made me rethink my understanding of England and gave me confidence in my poor ability to articulate my thoughts in a confident, reasonably informed manner. I'm in awe of the author's research and knowledge base and grateful that he had the time and the writing skills to communicate such a diverse, complicated subject in so easily digestible a manner.