'The Ministry and Magic in Early Modern Orkney' with Professor Peter Marshall 24 February 7pm

Seminar 'The Ministry and Magic in Early Modern Orkney' with Professor Peter Marshall, University of Warwick starts at 7pm on 24 February 2022.

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Professor Peter Marshall

This paper explores practices and attitudes around access to supernatural power in early modern Orkney, from the later sixteenth century to the beginning of the nineteenth. It seeks to ask what parish ministers thought of the persistence of magical beliefs within their congregations, and also what people in those congregations may have thought of the powers and potential of their ministers. The investigation involves a new look at the Orkney witch trials, and the significance of an unusually close connection in the islands between witchcraft accusations and healing practices of various kinds. It also considers the extent to which the slow demise and prolonged afterlife of the Norn language helped shape an alternative world of custom and belief, inviting comparison with other places where Protestant reform took place in a bi-lingual society. Challenging the conventional notion that the Reformation in Orkney was a bit of a non-event, the paper examines how profound, but often unexpected, patterns of cultural change were shaped in the prolonged encounter between clerical incomers and indigenous parishioners.

For more information and to join the seminar:

Institute for Northern Studies - Public events and seminars - 'The Ministry and Magic in Early Modern Orkney', Professor Peter Marshall (uhi.ac.uk)