Download e-book for iPad: Angels, demons and the new world by Fernando Cervantes, Andrew Redden

By Fernando Cervantes, Andrew Redden

ISBN-10: 0521764580

ISBN-13: 9780521764582

While ecu notions approximately angels and demons have been exported to the recent international, they underwent striking variations. Angels and demons got here to shape an essential component of the Spanish American cosmology, resulting in the emergence of colonial city and rural landscapes set inside of a strikingly theological framework. trust in celestial and demonic spirits quickly regulated and affected the day-by-day lives of Spanish, Indigenous and Mestizo peoples, whereas missionary networks circulated those practices to create a common and usually approved method of trust that flourished in seventeenth-century Baroque tradition and spirituality. This examine of angels and demons opens a very illuminating window onto highbrow and cultural advancements within the centuries that the ecu stumble upon with the US. the quantity may be of curiosity to students and scholars of spiritual reports, anthropology of faith, historical past of principles, Latin American colonial background and church heritage

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39 Our discussion thus far has highlighted the importance of ‘inefficacy’ to the early modern concept of superstition. To be sure, the notion that demons filled the causal lacunae inherent in superstitious practices formed a key part of the Church’s campaign against superstition, but religious reformers were also fighting the popular tendency to assume preternatural or supernatural causation where none in fact existed. In the opinion of Christian intellectuals, ignorance of natural mechanisms led to excessive credulity among the uneducated masses, which in turn led them to attribute any poorly understood event to divine intervention or the agency of spirits.

Before discussing the specifics of the Spanish case, however, some general background on the concept of superstition is in order. 6 Classical authors had originally invoked the idea of superstition in a neutral sense to denote an appropriate fear of the gods. 7 The medical critique of superstition was furthered by the physician Galen who mocked the tendency among the uneducated to ascribe healing power to popular rites and rituals. Superstition’s religious connotations were brought to the fore when Cicero juxtaposed the Latin terms superstitio and religio in order to distinguish between what he 5 6 7 See Campagne, Homo Catholicus.

1, unless otherwise noted. See also Stanley J. Tambiah, Magic, Science, Religion, and the Scope of Rationality (Cambridge, 1990), 8–11. 8 For Cicero superstition was an intellectual flaw resulting in an irrational fear of the supernatural; the cure was to be found in a golden mean which combined a pious regard for the gods and a philosophical understanding of the workings of nature. Cicero warned that departing from this mean could lead men to ascribe each and every unusual occurrence to a discrete divinity and thereby contribute to the proliferation and worship of false gods.

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Angels, demons and the new world by Fernando Cervantes, Andrew Redden


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