An original book examining the concept of the Devil in English culture between the Reformation and the end of the English Civil War. Nathan Johnstone looks at the ways in which beliefs about the nature of the Devil and his power in human affairs changed as a consequence of the Reformation, and its impact on religious, literary and political culture. He moves away from the established focus on demonology as a component of the belief in witchcraft and examines a wide range of religious and political milieux, such as practical divinity, the interiority of Puritan godliness, anti-popery, polemic and propaganda, and popular culture. The concept of the Devil that emerged from the Reformation had a profound impact on the beliefs and practices of committed Protestants, but it also influenced both the political debates of the reigns of Elizabeth I, James I and Charles I, and in popular culture more widely.
• Focuses on a neglected yet fascinating area of early modern history
• Challenges traditional beliefs and conceptions about the Devil
• Examines demonology within the wider political, social, cultural and religious history of early modern England