Apr 21, 2019  
College Catalog 2017-2018 
    
College Catalog 2017-2018 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

HIST 250 - Science, Magic and Belief


Events of the distant European past continue to shape our modern attitudes towards religion, magic and science. How did people in the sixteenth- and seventeenth- century Atlantic world use these frameworks to make sense of the world around them? In this course we will journey back to the period of the “Scientific Revolution” to investigate how and why people began to distinguish sharply between the three systems. Who lost, and who profited, from this transition? What similarities between religion, magic and science persisted? To understand this turning point, we will compare contemporaneous cases of individuals who practiced magic, science and religion and ran afoul of authorities. Their trials highlight how the three spheres began to diverge. Cases we will consider might include the 1633 trial of Galileo, and the 1663 witchcraft trial of Tempel Anneke in Germany. Every other year. (4 Credits)