Feb 26, 2024  
College Catalog 2022-2023 
College Catalog 2022-2023 [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. Meets the pre-1800 and the global and/or comparative history requirements, and can count towards “Law and Social Justice,” or “Global/Comparative” fields.  Every other year. (4 Credits)