The Rise of Magic in Early Medieval Europe

This is a study of magic in Western Europe in the early Middle Ages. Valerie Flint explores its practice and belief in Christian society, and examines the problems raised by so-called pagan survivals and superstition. She unravels the complex processes at work in the early medieval Christian church to show how the rejection of non-Christian magic came to be tempered by a more accommodating attitude: confrontation was replaced by negotiation, and certain practices previously condemned were not merely accepted, but actively encouraged. The forms of magic which were retained, as well as those the Church set out to obliterate, are analyzed. The superstitions condemned at the Reformation are shown to be, in origin, rational and intelligent concessions intended to reconcile coexisting cultures.

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Author
Publisher Oxford University Press, USA
Release Date
ISBN 9780198205227
Pages 452 pages
Rating 4/5 (28 users)