Angels of Light?: Sanctity and the Discernment of Spirits in by Clare Copeland

By Clare Copeland

"And no surprise; for devil himself is remodeled into an angel of light." (2 Corinthians 11:14) Paul's caution of fake apostles and fake righteousness struck a different chord within the interval of the eu Reformations. At no different time used to be the necessity for the discernment of spirits felt as strongly as during this newly confessional age. greater than ever, the facility to figure used to be a mark of holiness and failure the made from demonic temptation. The contributions to this quantity chart person responses to an issue on the middle of spiritual identification. They convey that the matter of discernment used to be no longer exclusively a Catholic crisis and was once a subject for authors and artists up to for prophets and visionaries.

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Extra info for Angels of Light?: Sanctity and the Discernment of Spirits in the Early Modern Period

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In this binary, quasi-Manichaean world the task of discerning spirits became intellectually simpler but pastorally more demanding. Could a pastor really persuade his people that all commerce with spirit-creatures was in truth supping with the devil? Certainly there was no shortage of stories, such as the tale of St Germanus of Auxerre and the villagers leaving food out for “Habundia” and her followers, to support the allegation. 40 Occasionally pastoral writers warned clergy against too vigorous a critique of popular belief, implying that people reproved too sternly for their traditional lore and assumptions would simply disconnect entirely from their preachers’ homilies.

37, pt. 1, art. 2. 61 Bullinger, Sermonum decades quinque, fol. 249r. 3, in Opera theologica, vol. 3, cols. 66–70. ANGELS, DEMONS, AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN 37 al guardian for each person was uncertain. 63 Kaspar Peucer (1525– 1602), in his Commentarius de praecipuis divinationum generibus (Commentary on the Principal Types of Divinations), likened the belief in a good and evil angel attending each person to the classical pagan belief in “genii” or tutelary spirits. 64 Calvin explored the Scriptural evidence for this theory, concluding sceptically that one need not try to achieve certainty on the subject, since one person might be defended by many angels and assaulted by many demons.

Sigerist (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1941), 226–29. , says that household spirits and gnomes in mines appear to be active but do nothing; William Tyndale, in The Obedience of a Christian Man, mocked the pretensions of the pope to relieve souls in 21 ANGELS, DEMONS, AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN 25 spirits were understood to be passionate. They felt insults; they were sensitive to betrayal by their human associates; they were capable of taking the most exquisite, and often delayed or occult, forms of revenge.

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