• A Necessary Evil: Necromancy and Christian Death

    Author(s):
    Jon Garrad (see profile)
    Date:
    2009
    Subject(s):
    Christianity, Medieval, Death, Magic, Witchcraft
    Item Type:
    Conference paper
    Conf. Title:
    Religion-Belief-Superstition
    Conf. Org.:
    University of Manchester / Chetham\'s Library
    Conf. Loc.:
    John Rylands Library, Manchester
    Conf. Date:
    8th June, 2009
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M6H53N
    Abstract:
    This paper charts the changing definition of 'necromancy' throughout Christian history, and explores the reasons why 'dead-speaking' becomes 'black magic' within medieval Christian discourses and later occult scholarship. The paper contends that the doctrines of Purgatory and intercession compromise Christianity's relationship with the dead, meaning that certain 'dead-speaking' practices have to become legitimate within Christian doctrine while others have to be controlled and legislated against. The semantic mutability of 'necromancy' in its Greek and Latin derived forms allows the word to hold two meanings, one of which is rendered near-synonymous with 'witchcraft' and thus rendered taboo.
    Metadata:
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    2 years ago
    License:
    Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
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