HI266 Deviance and Non-Conformity Folk Beliefs and Magic Stephen Bates s.m.j.bates@warwick.ac.uk

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HI266Deviance and Non-ConformityFolk Beliefs and MagicStephen Batess.m.j.bates@warwick.ac.ukAims of today Thinking about popular beliefs Consider their relationship to Christianity Was their a disenchantment of the world? Were popular beliefs marginalised by either the Reformation or the Enlightenment?Whig teleology of progressSuperstition and credulityCatholicism(organising framework)Protestant ReformationEnlightenment scepticismModernity(triumph of reason)

The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of CapitalismMax Weber (1904-05)Religion and the Decline of MagicKeith Thomas (1971)

The Stripping of the AltarsEamon Duffy(1992, 2nd ed. 2005)

Luther as MonkHans Baldung Grien(c.1521)The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.

~ L. P. Hartley, The Go-Between (1953)The three living and the three deadRobert de Lisles Psalter (c.1310)


Ars moriendi( Flemish, c.1460)

( English, 1506)

None oughte to haue despayre in noo wyse, how moche felon and euyll he hath ben, though that he had commyted as many murthers and theftes as there ben dropes of water and smalle grauell in the see ... god dyspyseth neuer a contryte herte and humble, and also the pyte and mercy of god is moche more than ony iniquyte or wyckednes.

~ The arte and crafte to knowe well to dye (1490)Death and the MiserHieronymus Bosch(1490)

Studie in the arte of magickGiovanni Cipriano(1595)

Love sicknessJan Steen(c.1660)

Henry IV of France touching for Kings evilAndr Du Laurens (1609)

Love Magic


Allso if in ony swerde or in a basenOr in a thombe or in a cristallThow made ony childe to loke therein Witchcraft men cleped this allBeware of this, it woll have a fall

~ Peter Idley, Instructions to his son (1473)Reginald Scot, The discouerie of Witchcraft(1584)

The Temptation of St AnthonyMarten de Vos(c.1594)

Urbain Grandier(1627)

The Beast of Gvaudan(1764-77)

Doctor Lambs Darling


WerewolfLucas Cranach(sixteenth-century)

The Magicianafter Hieronymus Bosch (c.1480)

Conclusions Tension between Christianity & folk-belief not new Intellectual culture always moving incl. theology Coexistence of beliefs but not syncretism Long-term change world increasingly predictable Nevertheless, beware of progress!