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ISSN 1749-8155

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Review Date: 
10 Nov 2016

Jane Lead and the Philadelphian Society are not particularly well known figures to most scholars of late 17th- and early 18th-century religion. Born in 1624, Lead experienced a spiritual awakening aged 16. On Christmas Day 1640, while her family danced and celebrated, she was overwhelmed with a ‘beam of Godly light’ and a gentle inner voice offering spiritual guidance.

Review Date: 
24 Nov 2016

In 1775, Samuel Johnson had already identified the central paradox of United States history. He notoriously challenged British readers to explain why ‘we hear the loudest yelps for liberty among the drivers of negroes’. Generations of historians have tried to answer that question. How could a movement espousing belief in liberty include so many slaveholders?

Review Date: 
8 Jun 2016

In the latest of our occasional Reviews in History podcast series, Jordan Landes interviews Darin Hayton about the latter's recent book on the use of astrology as a political tool in an early Renaissance court.

Darin Hayton is associate professor of history of science at Haverford College.

Review Date: 
24 Nov 2016

The theme which comes out most clearly from Rebecca Rist’s study of the relationship between the papacy and Judaism (following her earlier work on the papacy and crusading (1)) is that as the defender of Christian society, it was the papacy’s concern both to uphold a tradition of protecting Jews as witnesses to Christ’s crucifixion, but also to defend true Christians f

Review Date: 
17 Nov 2016

This book considers one of the less obvious (but arguably more important) passions – wonder – and the ways in which that emotion intersected with skepticism in the Middle Ages.

Review Date: 
13 Oct 2016

In the 21st century John Owen (1616–83) already looks likely claim the prize as the most studied of the 17th-century puritans. Compared to the ubiquitous Richard Baxter, contender for the same prize in 20th-century scholarship, Owen was more cerebral and less alive to the power of fashioning a cult of personality around himself.

Review Date: 
29 Sep 2016

Frances Yates’ seminal book Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition (1964), which established a longstanding scholarly orthodoxy that Renaissance magic derived from interpretations of the Hermetic Corpus, has been challenged in its details by Bruno scholars and others.

Review Date: 
11 Aug 2016

This collection of ten articles was inspired by an interdisciplinary conference held at the University of Manchester in 2005 on ‘The Peace in the Feud: History and Anthropology, 1955–2005’.

Review Date: 
19 May 2016

It is surprising how frequently books appear on the subject of Adam, Eve and the Garden of Eden. The already extensive bibliography in this volume could easily be doubled or trebled (1), but it has to be said that this is a fascinating, original and impressive contribution to what we might term protoplastic studies.

Review Date: 
21 Apr 2016

King Henry VIII’s quarrel with the papacy over the annulment of his almost 24-year marriage to Catherine of Aragon is familiar to both popular and historical audiences. What is less well known is that papal interference in royal marriages dates as far back as the Carolingian era, although the tools popes used to defend the indissolubility of marriage evolved over time.

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