Publication of English Catholics and the Supernatural, 1553-1829

Front Cover

Today is the official publication date of English Catholics and the Supernatural, 1553-1829. The book is the first systematic attempt to treat Catholic responses to those aspects of early modern ‘popular religion’ that might be termed ‘preternatural’ or, to use the less accurate but more commonly used term, supernatural. It differs from other works on the subject of early modern popular religion by being based almost entirely on sources produced by Catholics, and includes chapters on Catholic views of ghosts, witchcraft and magic, and Catholic exorcism. It also approaches the question of what English Catholics thought superstition actually was, and attempts to locate English Catholic thought on the subject within the context of the wider Counter-Reformation. The book argues that Catholics were considerably more sceptical of supernatural phenomena than they were portrayed by their opponents.

You can order the book from Ashgate’s website, where you can view the Introduction as a sample chapter, or from Amazon, where the ‘search inside’ facility ought to become available soon. There are also extracts of the book available on Google Books.

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