For centuries, English Protestants have been accustomed to assume that English Catholics have a special relationship to the supernatural. While Protestant faith was interiorized and godly (or, in later iterations, enlightened or disenchanted), Catholics still dwelt in a twilight world of ghosts and goblins, of witches and purgatorial spirits, of wonder-working relics and the “magic of the medieval church.” In English Catholics and the Supernatural, Francis Young's resolute determination to understand the Catholic supernatural through Catholic voices provides a corrective to historiographies that, while not themselves necessarily Protestant, have internalized Protestant assumptions about unreformed Catholic superstition. Against such assumptions, Young asserts that the “self-consciously missionary Catholicism” of Counter-Reformation England defined itself against both Protestant novelty and medieval superstition. Despite the “contrary impression given in virtually all anti-Catholic literature of the period, [one finds] the sustained survival of a distinctively Catholic tradition of measured scepticism concerning supernatural phenomena across three...

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