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Invisible Worlds Death, Religion and the Supernatural in England, 1500-1700

by Peter Marshall

Invisible Worlds Death, Religion and the Supernatural in England, 1500-1700 Synopsis

After a historiographical and interpretative introduction, the book falls into two parts, both referencing the 'Invisible Worlds' of the title, and representing different angles of vision on aspects of early modern belief that today seem particularly strange and disturbing, even to believing Christians. The first five chapters consider the intellectual and cultural consequences of the Reformation's assault on established beliefs about the afterlife, and the experience of souls there. They show how debates about the existence of purgatory, and related matters such as the nature of hell-fire, acted as unwitting agents of modernisation, but also provided scope for ordinary people to practise a kind of vernacular theology. The second part looks at deeply-held beliefs around angels, ghosts and fairies, and how these were re-appropriated and re-imagined when cut from their traditional theological moorings.

Book Information

ISBN: 9780281075225
Publication date: 17th August 2017
Author: Peter Marshall
Publisher: SPCK Publishing
Format: Paperback / softback
Pagination: 256 pages
Categories: Christian theology, Early modern history: c 1450/1500 to c 1700,

About Peter Marshall

Peter Marshall is a Professor of History and Director of Graduate Studies in History at the University of Warwick. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and an Associate Editor for the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

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