Angels of Light?: Sanctity and the Discernment of Spirits in by Clare Copeland

By Clare Copeland

"And no surprise; for devil himself is remodeled into an angel of light." (2 Corinthians 11:14) Paul's caution of fake apostles and fake righteousness struck a unique chord within the interval of the eu Reformations. At no different time used to be the necessity for the discernment of spirits felt as strongly as during this newly confessional age. greater than ever, the facility to determine used to be a mark of holiness and failure the fabricated from demonic temptation. The contributions to this quantity chart person responses to an issue on the center of spiritual identification. They convey that the matter of discernment was once now not completely a Catholic problem and was once a subject matter for authors and artists up to for prophets and visionaries.

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Bullinger added, “that which is not deliuered in the scriptures, can not without daunger be inquired Bullinger, Fiftie Godlie and Learned Sermons, 733; cf. 19. -P. , Patrologiae cursus completus, series graeca, vol. 3 (Paris: Migne, 1857–66), cols. 119– 370 for the Celestial Hierarchy. 4; cf. 8. 54 Zanchi, De operibus Dei, I. 2. 14, in Opera theologica, vol. 3, cols. 91–96. ” 55 Bullinger, Fiftie Godlie and Learned Sermons, 745. ” 56 “To stir up questions concerning the time or order in which they were created bespeaks more perverseness than industry,” Calvin remarked.

Of Devils and Spirits, in his The Discovery of Witchcraft: [ . . ] Whereunto is Added an Excellent Discourse of the Nature and Substance of Devils and Spirits (London, 1665), chs. 14–18. 77 42 EUAN CAMERON Lutheran counterparts, especially towards the end of the sixteenth century. 81 Confessional-era Lutheran ecclesiastics would insist on retaining a modest and suitably purged ritual of exorcism for use in baptism, in keeping with Luther’s theology that human bodies in this world remained in the possession of the devil and needed to be prised from his grasp.

However, it is not at all clear that lay-people, or even some clergy, saw things in such an austere way. As the disputed themes in the spiritual world came to focus upon questions of doctrine, possession by spirits increasingly assumed a theological character. One of the worst ways in which the devils could afflict people, in the eyes of some reformers, was by imbuing them with wrong religious ideas and a perverse obstinacy in defending them. ” Luther put it thus in Against the Heavenly Prophets in the Matter of Images and Sacraments of 1524–25: “It ought to surprise no one that I call him a devil.

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