Best known as the Saducismus triumphatus (1681), Joseph Glanvill’s book on witchcraft is among the most frequently published from the seventeenth century, and its arguments for the reality of diabolic witchcraft elicited passionate responses from critics and supporters alike. Davies untangles the intricate development of this text and explores how Glanvill’s roles as theologian, philosopher and advocate for the Royal Society of London converge in its pages. Glanvill’s broader philosophical method and unique approach to the supernatural provide a case study that enables the exploration of the interaction between the rise of experimental science and changing attitudes to witchcraft.
Table of Contents
1. The Right Kind of Friends: Glanvill’s Biography and Networks
2. Weighing in on the Witchcraft Debate
3. The Lux and the Letter: Glanvill on the Nature of Spirits and Souls
4. Poisonous Vapours and the Science of Witchcraft
5. Playing a New Tune: The Drummer of Tedworth and Glanvill’s Stylistic Reform
6. Defending the High Ground: Glanvill and the Royal Society
7. Preaching Science: The Promotion of Experimental Philosophy Through Glanvill’s Sermons and Pastoral Care
8. Collaboration and Method: Glanvill and the Reception of the Saducismus triumphatus
Julie Davies is a Research Assistant at the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions at the University of Melbourne.