"And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light." (2 Corinthians 11:14) Paul's warning of false apostles and false righteousness struck a special chord in the period of the European Reformations. At no other time was the need for the discernment of spirits felt as strongly as in this newly confessional age. More than ever, the ability to discern was a mark of holiness and failure the product of demonic temptation. The contributions to this volume chart individual responses to a problem at the heart of religious identity. They show that the problem of discernment was not solely a Catholic concern and was an issue for authors and artists as much as for prophets and visionaries.
Jan Machielsen, DPhil (2011) in History, University of Oxford, is a Junior Research Fellow at Balliol College, Oxford and a British Academy Postdoctoral Research Fellow. He has published several articles on the interplay of demonology and late humanism.
Clare Copeland, DPhil (2010) in Theology, University of Oxford is a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Early Modern Catholicism at Somerville College, Oxford. Her monograph on canonization in early modern Italy is forthcoming with Oxford University Press
“fascinating analyses […] these essays will be of interest to anyone interested in the history of early modern religion; among other things, they make useful, nuanced contributions to the debate on whether the Reformation fostered the disenchantment of the world.”
Jeffrey R. Watt, University of Mississippi. In:
The Journal of Ecclesiastical History, Vol. 65, No. 1 (January 2014), pp. 184-185.
Table of contents
List of Illustrations
Notes on Contributors
Clare Copeland & Jan Machielsen
I Angels, Demons, and Everything in Between: Spiritual Beings in Early Modern Europe
II Dangerous Visions: The Experience of Teresa of Avila and the Teaching of John of the Cross.
III Participating in the Divine: Visions and Ecstasies in a Florentine Convent
IV Heretical Saints and Textual Discernment: The Polemical Origins of the Acta Sanctorum (1643–1940)
V Discerning the “Call” and Fashioning Dead Disciples: The Many Lives of Augustine Baker
Victoria Van Hyning
VI A Seventeenth-Century Prophet confronts His Failures: Paul Felgenhauer’s Speculum Poenitentiae, Buß-Spiegel (1625)
Leigh T. I. Penman
VII Visions, Dreams, and the Discernment of Prophetic Passions: Sense and Reason in the Writings of the Cambridge Platonists and John Beale, 1640–60
R. J. Scott
VIII Gijsbert Voet and Discretio Spirituum after Descartes
IX “Incorporeal Substances”: Discerning Angels in Later Seventeenth-Century England
Afterword: Angels of Light and Images of Sanctity
All those interested in religious history in the early modern period.