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Since the dawn of history people have used charms and spells to try to control their environment, and forms of divination to try to foresee the otherwise unpredictable chances of life. Many of these techniques were called 'superstitious' by educated elites. For centuries religious believers used 'superstition' as a term of abuse to denounce another religion that they thought inferior, or to criticize their fellow-believers for practising their faith 'wrongly'.


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From the Middle Ages to the Enlightenment, scholars argued over what 'superstition' was, how to identify it, and how to persuade people to avoid it. Learned believers in demons and witchcraft, in their treatises and sermons, tried to make 'rational' sense of popular superstitions by blaming them on the deceptive tricks of seductive demons.

Enchanted Europe: Superstition, Reason, and Religion - Euan Cameron - Google книги

Solid Reformation and Counter-Reformation scholarship. Equates superstition with a top-down diluted theology tied up in religious practices and tends not to look at broad or popular trends e.

A two-bookmark book with extensive endnotes. May 10, Steve Wiggins rated it liked it.

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Scholarly and erudite, but gets bogged down a bit in the details. A fascinating subject and a lot of information.

I would read it again. See more at: Sects and Violence in the Ancient World.

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"Religion and Superstition"

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Enchanted Europe: Superstition, Reason, and Religion, 1250–1750 – By Euan Cameron

Institutional Login. LOG IN. Magic, Ritual, and Witchcraft. In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: Reviewed by:. Euan Cameron. Oxford: Oxford University Press, If you would like to authenticate using a different subscribed institution that supports Shibboleth authentication or have your own login and password to Project MUSE.