The Debate over the Corporeality of Demons in England, c. 1670-1700

PDF Version Also Available for Download.

Description

According to Walter Stephens, witch-theorists in the fifteenth century developed the witchcraft belief of demon copulation in order to prove the existence of demons and therefore the existence of God. In England, during the mid-seventeenth century, Cartesian and materialist philosophies spread. These new philosophies stated there was nothing in the world but corporeal substances, and these substances had to conform to natural law. This, the philosophers argued, meant witchcraft was impossible. Certain other philosophers believed a denial of any incorporeal substance would lead to atheism, and so used witchcraft as proof of incorporeal spirits to refute what they felt was ... continued below

Creation Information

Patterson, Patrick August 2009.

Context

This thesis is part of the collection entitled: UNT Theses and Dissertations and was provided by UNT Libraries to Digital Library, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. It has been viewed 3919 times , with 8 in the last month . More information about this thesis can be viewed below.

Who

People and organizations associated with either the creation of this thesis or its content.

Chair

Committee Members

Publisher

Rights Holder

For guidance see Citations, Rights, Re-Use.

  • Patterson, Patrick

Provided By

UNT Libraries

With locations on the Denton campus of the University of North Texas and one in Dallas, UNT Libraries serves the school and the community by providing access to physical and online collections; The Portal to Texas History and UNT Digital Libraries; academic research, and much, much more.

Contact Us

What

Descriptive information to help identify this thesis. Follow the links below to find similar items on the Digital Library.

Degree Information

Description

According to Walter Stephens, witch-theorists in the fifteenth century developed the witchcraft belief of demon copulation in order to prove the existence of demons and therefore the existence of God. In England, during the mid-seventeenth century, Cartesian and materialist philosophies spread. These new philosophies stated there was nothing in the world but corporeal substances, and these substances had to conform to natural law. This, the philosophers argued, meant witchcraft was impossible. Certain other philosophers believed a denial of any incorporeal substance would lead to atheism, and so used witchcraft as proof of incorporeal spirits to refute what they felt was a growing atheism in the world. By examining this debate we can better understand the decline of witchcraft. This debate between corporeal and incorporeal was part of the larger debate over the existence of witchcraft. It occurred at a time in England when the persecution of witches was declining. Using witchcraft as proof of incorporeal substances was one of the last uses of witchcraft before it disappeared as a valid belief. Therefore, a better understanding of this debate adds to a better understanding of witchcraft during its decline.

Language

Identifier

Unique identifying numbers for this thesis in the Digital Library or other systems.

Collections

This thesis is part of the following collection of related materials.

UNT Theses and Dissertations

Theses and dissertations represent a wealth of scholarly and artistic content created by masters and doctoral students in the degree-seeking process. Some ETDs in this collection are restricted to use by the UNT community.

What responsibilities do I have when using this thesis?

When

Dates and time periods associated with this thesis.

Creation Date

  • August 2009

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • March 17, 2010, 11:40 a.m.

Description Last Updated

  • April 6, 2010, 3:44 p.m.

Usage Statistics

When was this thesis last used?

Yesterday: 0
Past 30 days: 8
Total Uses: 3,919

Interact With This Thesis

Here are some suggestions for what to do next.

Start Reading

PDF Version Also Available for Download.

Citations, Rights, Re-Use

Patterson, Patrick. The Debate over the Corporeality of Demons in England, c. 1670-1700, thesis, August 2009; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc12180/: accessed September 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .