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ePub Religion and the Decline of Magic download

by Keith Thomas

ePub Religion and the Decline of Magic download
Author:
Keith Thomas
ISBN13:
978-0684145426
ISBN:
0684145421
Language:
Publisher:
Scribner's (April 1, 1986)
Category:
Subcategory:
New Age & Spirituality
ePub file:
1657 kb
Fb2 file:
1941 kb
Other formats:
lit lrf doc txt
Rating:
4.6
Votes:
272

Among those most influenced was Keith Thomas who published an outline of the .

Among those most influenced was Keith Thomas who published an outline of the possibilities of collaboration some two years later in an article on 'History and Anthropology' in the journal Past and Present.

Keith Thomas is a Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford. RELIGION AND DECLINE OF MAGIC, his first book, won one of the two Wolfson Literary Awards for History in 1972. He was formerly President of Corpus Christi College and, before that, Professor of Modern History and Fellow of St John's College. He was knighted in 1988 for services to the study of history. Библиографические данные. Religion and the Decline of Magic: Studies in Popular Beliefs in Sixteenth and Seventeenth-Century England. Издание: перепечатанное.

Keith Thomas's classic analysis of beliefs held on every level of English society .

Keith Thomas's 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. You might think from the title of Religion and the Decline of Magic that there is going to be some causal relationship between the two noun phrases: that this is a story of how religion grew as magic diminished.

The question of why magic declined but religion endured underpins the book. Thomas points to a fundamental difference in function between religion and magic: religion offered an explanation of human existence while magical practices commonly addressed specific temporary problems. The popularity of the holistic system of astrology, however, which seemed to do both, provides a counterpoint to this distinction. He also demonstrates the malleability of religion.

Keith Thomas is a Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford An alternate title for the book could be Religion, the Decline of Magic, and the Rise of Rationalism. 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. An alternate title for the book could be Religion, the Decline of Magic, and the Rise of Rationalism.

Keith Thomas had in mind a single core question when he wrote Religion and the Decline of Magic: what caused the decline in the belief in magic in England between about 1500 and 1700?

Keith Thomas had in mind a single core question when he wrote Religion and the Decline of Magic: what caused the decline in the belief in magic in England between about 1500 and 1700? To put it in more concrete terms: Thomas wanted to know why it was that an Englishman or woman in 1500 would have been more willing to explain their lives in terms of witchcraft, ghosts, and spells than their descendants, living in 1700.

Thanks Tom, I really enjoyed Religion and the Decline of Magic too.

08:22 - 16 дек. 2019 г. 1 ретвит. Thanks Tom, I really enjoyed Religion and the Decline of Magic too. 1 ответ 0 ретвитов 1 отметка Нравится. Bibliographic information.

Sir Keith Vivian Thomas, CH, FBA, FRHistS, FLSW (born 2 January 1933) is a Welsh historian of the early modern world based at Oxford University. He is best known as the author of Religion and the Decline of Magic and Man and the Natural World

Sir Keith Vivian Thomas, CH, FBA, FRHistS, FLSW (born 2 January 1933) is a Welsh historian of the early modern world based at Oxford University. He is best known as the author of Religion and the Decline of Magic and Man and the Natural World. From 1986 to 2000, he was President of Corpus Christi College, Oxford. Thomas was born on 2 January 1933 in Wick, Glamorgan, Wales. He was educated at Barry County Grammar School, a state grammar school in Barry, Vale of Glamorgan

Keith Thomas is a Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford. with a living treasure on each page, and probably the book that, in my whole life, I've pressed on other people most energetically. Selected people, of course

Astrology, witchcraft, magical healing, divination, ancient prophecies, ghosts, and fairies were taken very seriously by people at all social and economic levels in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England. Helplessness in the face of disease and human disaster helped to perpetuate this belief in magic and the supernatural. As Keith Thomas shows, England during these years resembled in many ways today's "underdeveloped areas." The English population was exceedingly liable to pain, sickness, and premature death; many were illiterate; epidemics such as the bubonic plague plowed through English towns, at times cutting the number of London's inhabitants by a sixth; fire was a constant threat; the food supply was precarious; and for most diseases there was no effective medical remedy. In this fascinating and detailed book, Keith Thomas shows how magic, like the medieval Church, offered an explanation for misfortune and a means of redress in times of adversity. The supernatural thus had its own practical utility in daily life. Some forms of magic were challenged by the Protestant Reformation, but only with the increased search for scientific explanation of the universe did the English people begin to abandon their recourse to the supernatural. Science and technology have made us less vulnerable to some of the hazards which confronted the people of the past. Yet Religion and the Decline of Magic concludes that "if magic is defined as the employment of ineffective techniques to allay anxiety when effective ones are not available, then we must recognize that no society will ever be free from it."
  • RELIGION AND THE DECLINE OF MAGIC is one of the greatest works of history that I have ever read. It is one of those books that is both highly entertaining and massively informative. It is also infuriating, because it is a book that is so full of detail, that it doesn't seem as if one person could have produced it. It makes me feel as if I have been wasting my life.
    Thomas's subject is--as the title proclaims--the prevalence of and subsequent decline in magical beliefs in the Great Britain in the 16th and 17th centuries. He surveys magic in a myriad of forms: magical elements within religious practice, village wizards and cunning men, astrology, prophecies, and--in the most famous and frequently referred to section--witches. My favorite sections were those dealing with astrology and witchcraft, as well as the beginning chapter dealing with "nasty, brutish, and short" quality of life at the time in England. The book is filled to the brim with fascinating bits of information, such as the fact that most of the caloric intake of men, women, and even children at the time came from beer, and that at sea an allotment of a gallon of beer a day was made! The inescapable conclusion was that Britain was a nation of alcoholics.

    I find it difficult to overpraise this book. Since reading it during the summer, I have found dozens of references to it in various works, and always with the highest praise attached. One of the blurbs on the back of the beautiful new paperback edition recently put out by Oxford University Press claims that it is one of the two or three greatest works of history in the past thirty years, and I have no reason to doubt it. As testament to how highly I esteem this book, I plan on buying a new copy, since the old Scribner's paperback I read barely managed to hold together til the end.

    Keith Thomas's other book, MAN AND THE NATURAL WORLD, is also a work of the highest order. My one complaint with Thomas is that he has not written enough books. My hope is that he is working on another.

    Note:

    Since writing that review Keith Thomas has come out with another work that I just found out about and just ordered. Due to a very heavy reading/writing schedule I'm not going to be able to read it for a while, but I look forward to doing so with enthusiasm. The title is THE ENDS OF LIFE: ROADS TO FULFILLMENT IN EARLY MODERN ENGLAND.

  • The title of this book is intriguing, but I'm not so sure that it accurately describes the book. He doesn't really define the terms "religion" and "magic" to my satisfaction. The book's big problem is that it lumps Astrology with "magic." Astrology has never claimed to be magic. It has never claimed to have brought anything about, or to have created something from nothing. All the astrologer does is calculate the positions of the planets and stars and then interpret them according to the symbolic meanings attached to them and their relationships to each other, similarly to the way that a psychoanalyst would interpret a dream. The author admits that of all the topics mentioned, astrology was the most difficult for him to write about. The reason it was difficult is that it is not, and never was, "magic," nor has it "declined." It is practiced by millions of people all over the world.

    That said, this is a great work of scholarship that I would recommend to any thinking person. At the end of the book, Thomas admits that religion had less to do with the decline of magic than the changeover from a rural to an urban culture and the invention of other methods to achieve those things that magic tried to achieve. An example would be that instead of buying a magic potion to attract a lover's attention, a girl could instead invest in cosmetics and deodorants with the same intention. Oddly, Science was probably less responsible than one would think. He notes that while scientific progress was made in the 17th Century, it was to be another 3 centuries before science really made much difference in alleviating human suffering from disease, which would be a prime reason for one to seek magical aid.

    The parts of the book I found most interesting were those dealing with "witches." Witchcraft, I learned, was practiced by those who were powerless in the material realm. Usually they were poor old women who were dependent on the charity of the community. (In the early Protestant Church, believers were morally obligated as individuals to be charitable toward the poor.) If someone refused her food, she would tell them they'd be sorry. Then the person so "cursed," whenever any setback occurred, attributed it to her ill-will. The "curse" was really their guilty conscience. Invariably the accusers of witches were those who were morally in the wrong, not the destitute old "witches."

    But what relationship DID religion have with magic? For one thing, it was competition! Probably the biggest influence of religion on magic came with the Reformation. Forms of ritual magic were still practiced by Catholics, but were taboo in Protestantism, which simply said it was nonsense. Perhaps this ultimately was responsible for slowly changing the reputation of the local practitioners of folk magic.

    Exhaustively researched, this is a great book that applies the disciplines of sociology, psychology, and anthropology to history. Worth reading despite its 668-page length. Five Stars.

  • This was a gift for my wife so I have no opinion regarding this.

  • Great. Thanks

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