Synopses & Reviews
This major new study of psychiatry and psychology--during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries--traces the struggle between politics and popular culture which influenced the scientific revolution. David Lederer explores the treatment of mental illness in society before the emergence of professional psychiatry, the use of spiritual remedies ('spiritual physic') to deal with physical and mental ailments from melancholy to demonic possession, how early modern people understood the soul and the impact of the Counter-Reformation on all these issues.
"The strength of this book lies in Lederer's willingness to engage both the ideological/cultural construction of madness and the everyday experience of spiritual afflictions... As is always the case, the careful examination of the complex interplay of social, cultural and intellectual movements makes for excellent history."
H-German, Marc R. Forster, Department of History, Connecticut College
"It is the most valuable kind of regional study, one that has crucial implications for the larger historical and social processes that constructed the state and its attitude toward issues of normalcy, madness, and identity formation...The result is a richly detailed and engaging study that vitally illuminates the way spiritual psyche touched the lives of people in early Modern Bavaria and seeped into the foundations of modern scientific disciplines."
Pompa Banerjee, University of Colorado at Denver, The Historian
"David Lederer's Madness, Religion and the State in Early Modern Europe sheds new light on the interaction of politics. religion, and society in early modern Europe and raises challenging questions about the origins of modern mental health care." -Jason P. Coy, Journal of Social History
"This fine and dense study is an important contribution to our understanding of early modern mentalities, popular culture and religion, pilgrimage, healing, exorcism, sainthood and state formation." -- Renaissance Quarterly
"This challenging book makes a significant contribution to the study of madness in early-modern Europe...It is impossible in a short review to capture the richness of Lederer's work...with this substantial study David Lederer establishes himself as a major historian of psychology and piety..." --Philip M. Soergel, University of Maryland: The Catholic Historic Review
Study of psychology during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, before the emergence of professional psychiatry.
This is a major new study of psychology during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, before the emergence of professional psychiatry. It traces the struggle between high politics and popular culture which influenced the scientific revolution. Dr Lederer explores the use of spiritual remedies to deal with physical and mental ailments and argues that early modern understandings of madness were embedded in the religious apprehension of mind and body. The book will appeal to anyone interested in the history of medicine and psychology, the Counter Reformation, and the phenomenon of witchcraft.
Table of Contents
1. On the soul; 2. Sackcloth and ashes; 3. Bavaria Sancta; 4. Spiritual afflictions; 5. the decline of religious madness; 6. confinement and its vicissitudes; 7. The legacy of spiritual physic.