Angels, Demons and The New World

Whilst ecu notions approximately angels and demons have been exported to the recent global, they underwent outstanding variations. Angels and demons got here to shape an essential component of the Spanish American cosmology, resulting in the emergence of colonial city and rural landscapes set inside of a strikingly theological framework. trust in celestial and demonic spirits quickly regulated and affected the day-by-day lives of Spanish, Indigenous and Mestizo peoples, whereas missionary networks circulated those practices to create a frequent and customarily authorized procedure of trust that flourished in seventeenth-century Baroque tradition and spirituality. This learn of angels and demons opens a very illuminating window onto highbrow and cultural advancements within the centuries that the eu come upon with the US. the quantity could be of curiosity to students and scholars of spiritual stories, anthropology of faith, background of principles, Latin American colonial historical past and church background.

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See, for example, Theodore Rothman, ‘De Laguna’s Commentaries on Hallucinogenic Drugs and Witchcraft in Dioscorides’ Materia Medica’, Bulletin of the History of Medicine 46 (1972): 562–7; and Harry Friedenwald, ‘Andres A. 9 (1939): 1036–46. From the Old World to the New 36 result of marital problems brought on by her husband’s jealousy. Although many remedies had been tried, none had been effective. Convinced that this was the perfect opportunity to test the power of the ointment, Laguna smeared the woman from head to toe, whereupon she immediately lost consciousness.

If, as Ciruelo claims, the devil can produce ‘supernatural’ effects, how are these to be distinguished from supernatural miracles performed by God himself? Pedro Ciruelo constantly amplifies the gravity and scope of the devil’s influence, yet at the same time he expends a great deal of effort reminding his readers of the limits on demonic agency and submitting it to detailed causal analysis. 31 This third type of causation – ‘preternatural’ causation as it came to be known32 – was especially problematic, since it inevitably led to questions about how, exactly, spiritual beings interacted with nature, and which natural causes were actually at work.

65 These were theorists of the natural world, many of them physicians, who had an interest in the kinds of extraordinary phenomena often attributed to demonic forces. They expanded on traditional Thomistic notions of causality, incorporating a wide variety of natural explanations ranging from occult sympathies and antipathies inherent in nature to ‘celestial intelligences’ and the human imagination. Preternatural philosophers thus departed from the promissory naturalism of figures such as Oresme and attempted more exacting – and in some cases even experimental – analyses of preternatural events.

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