Possession, Puritanism and Prophecy: Child Demoniacs and English Reformed Culture

French, Anna L (2008) Possession, Puritanism and Prophecy: Child Demoniacs and English Reformed Culture. Reformation, 13 (1). pp. 133-161. doi:10.1558/refm.v13.133

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This article will consider the implications of the role of children in cases of demonic possession. The child within the possession narrative did not simply occupy the world and minds of domestic or local culture. Rather, their spiritual plights and struggles also became both visible and important to a much wider stage and audience. The cases of the young and possessed reveal to us a world in which religious controversy was expressed in communities; it was spoken about, debated, witnessed and even experienced through the bodies of these children. Cases of possession can also reveal to us aspects of early modern religious culture in which children were temporarily granted iconic authority, through which they became the mouthpieces for certain strands of religious belief. Such a position allowed children not only to trespass social boundaries, or temporarily to defy social superiors and accepted authorities, but also, much more significantly, to gain power and authority of their own.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: REF2014 Submission
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Creative Arts
Research Priority Areas: Culture, Continuity, and Transformation
Depositing User: Anne Pengelly
Date Deposited: 14 Sep 2015 09:18
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 08:56
URI: https://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/2585

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