Chapter

Healing, Witchcraft, and the Body Politic in Restoration Britain

Peter Elmer

in The Miraculous Conformist

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780199663965
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745379 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199663965.003.0005
Healing, Witchcraft, and the Body Politic in Restoration Britain

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This chapter extends the analysis of Greatrakes cures to include discussion of his own peculiar explanation for the success of his cures, which he construed as a form of exorcism. Greatrakes, as described here, was something of an expert in all things demonological and had formerly played a prominent role in one of Ireland's best-documented witch trials. Similar interests permeated the thinking of many of his most committed followers. The chapter concludes by arguing, paradoxically, that belief in witchcraft at this period was characteristically invoked in order to promote religious reconciliation and unity among Anglicans and dissenters.

Keywords: Greatrakes; Youghal; Witchcraft; demonology; preternatural; Boyle; eirenic; dissent; healing

Chapter.  27336 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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