The Devils of Loudun PDF/EPUB ✓ The Devils PDF or

The Devils of Loudun PDF/EPUB ✓ The Devils PDF or

The Devils of Loudun [KINDLE] ❄ The Devils of Loudun By Aldous Huxley – Centrumpowypadkowe.co.uk In Urbain Grandier, a handsome and dissolute priest of the parish of Loudun was tried, tortured and burnt at the stake He had been found guilty of conspiring with the devil to seduce an entire conven InUrbain Grandier, a handsome and dissolute priest of the parish of Loudun was tried, tortured and burnt The Devils PDF or at the stake He had been found guilty of conspiring with the devil to seduce an entire convent of nuns in what was the most sensational case of mass possession and sexual hysteria in history Grandier maintained his innocence to the end and four years after his death the nuns were still being subjected to exorcisms to free them from their demonic bondage Huxley s vivid account of this bizarre tale of religious and sexual obsession transforms our understanding of the medieval world.


10 thoughts on “The Devils of Loudun

  1. Sam Ruddick Sam Ruddick says:

    This is probably one of the most interesting and important books I ve ever read Let me say first that in spite of the tag line it actually has almost nothing to do with devils, or demon possession as such I suspect it was billed as A True Story of Demon Possession in order to boost sales It s lamentable for several reasons One is simply that it misrepresents the book I mean, if you re looking for something that deals with actual demon possession, or a piece of lurid fiction dealing wi This is probably one of the most interesting and important books I ve ever read Let me say first that in spite of the tag line it actually has almost nothing to do with devils, or demon possession as such I suspect it was billed as A True Story of Demon Possession in order to boost sales It s lamentable for several reasons One is simply that it misrepresents the book I mean, if you re looking for something that deals with actual demon possession, or a piece of lurid fiction dealing with similar subject matter, this book probably isn t what you re looking for And, if you re NOT interested in demon possession, the tag line will keep you from reading the book But I think the worst thing about it is that sales need to be boosted to begin with This is a book that should be read I mean, it s too badpeople haven t read or even heard of it It deals with actual events, that s true It also deals with an alleged case of demon possession that is also true But it s not what it sounds like A certain corrupt priest Urbain Grandier offended some people in high places, and ultimately he was accused of witchcraft and blamed for the possession of a convent full of Ursuline nuns The possession waslikely hysteria The sorcery charge was bunk, and most of the people involved understood this to be the case So, on the face of it, the book is about the disastrous mix of Church and State in early 17th Century France But that s not really what it s about, either I mean, to bill it as a history book or a book about politics would be equally misguided.Huxley uses this particular episode from history as an entry into a larger discussion about spiritual life What is spirituality What motivates it He calls it self transendence, and offers an in depth discussion of some of the principles that are common to most religions Not the simple stuff I mean, it s not like he s just saying most religions say that murder is wrong He s talking about the need for an awareness of God, for the Divine Ground that unites everything, and the way that faith and works play into our attempts to connect to that awareness.He discounts nothing It s interesting, because at times he makes ironic or even sarcastic comments, and that s normally the refuge of a weaker writer, a writer who sneers at the world, dismisses the very idea of demon possession or even plain old spirituality as quaint fantasy Huxley isn t dismissive He cites well documented psychic phenomena ESP, for example as evidence of a world beyond the strictly physical world as we understand it If it s possible that the human mind can tap into another mind, then those minds must share something on some non physical level One can not, therefore, rule out the possibility that a will or an intellect can exist on a non physical level There is no reason to believe that all such wills that all entities existing outside the physical world as we know it are well meaning and nice Whether or not they re demons proper is sort of beside the point In case you re thinking this is all sort of dark, I should mention that he spends a lot of time emphasizing the positive what he calls Original Virtue, rather than Original Sin Original Sin he defines in terms of the human capacity for evil, Original Virtue, our capacity for good In case you re thinking this is all sort of flaky, I should mention that he also devotes considerable attention to psychology and psychiatry, as well It s not as though he buys the idea of a spritual world without first exploring the possibility that some spiritual experiences are actually manifestations of mental disorders.He also devotes considerable attention to matters of law, doctrine, et cetera.At any rate, I m not doing the book justice There was no point at which I felt as though I was in the midst of a load of spooky b.s It s never less than well researched and well reasoned And it s sort of about everything Politics, religion, spirituality, psychology, philosophy, history, society, art, justice, responsibility, sexuality, nature everything And it s all framed by this fascinating story about this priest and this convent and the political and personal intrigues that came together surrounding them.The Devils of Loudun was first published in 1952, I think, and when I finished reading it, I thought about all the stuff I read in school, the critical theory that s come out of the academic community and the religious and political discourse that s come out since 1952, and I just felt like something had gone terribly wrong That all that discourse is so pinheaded and narrow minded That there was this flash of intelligent thinking about the world in this book, and that somehow it s been neglected, that the conversation went in some other direction, and we ve been in darkness ever since.Maybe I just haven t read enough.Probably I haven t read enough But I ve read a lot, and I ve never run into anything quite like this before It s brilliant I cannot recommend ithighly


  2. WILLIAM2 WILLIAM2 says:

    Oliver Sacks mentions this work in his book Hallucinations for its depiction of groups experiencing mass delusions I do not know if Arthur Miller read this when working on his play The Crucible, but I wouldn t be surprised Oliver Sacks mentions this work in his book Hallucinations for its depiction of groups experiencing mass delusions I do not know if Arthur Miller read this when working on his play The Crucible, but I wouldn t be surprised


  3. Nandakishore Varma Nandakishore Varma says:

    Not about devils, really, but about mass hysteria and the psychological roots of religious ecstasy, mania, and spirituality itself This is the story of the philandering priest Urbane Grandier of Loudun, in 17th Century France, who was burnt at the stake for causing the demonic possession of a whole nunnery The problem was, even his death did not send the devils away.If you read this as horror aficionado looking for devils like I did in my early twenties , you are going to be disappointed No Not about devils, really, but about mass hysteria and the psychological roots of religious ecstasy, mania, and spirituality itself This is the story of the philandering priest Urbane Grandier of Loudun, in 17th Century France, who was burnt at the stake for causing the demonic possession of a whole nunnery The problem was, even his death did not send the devils away.If you read this as horror aficionado looking for devils like I did in my early twenties , you are going to be disappointed No devils were harmed in the making of this book Stirring stuff, otherwise


  4. Susan Susan says:

    I first read this book in high school and it made a great impression on me Huxley s account of the Church s investigation into demonic possession in a seventeenth century French town is a disturbing example of institutional abuse, sexual repression, and political ambition I ve never found such a riveting account surrounding the torture and execution of the priest Urbain Grandier Admittedly, I haven t looked very hard At the time I first read this work I was also researching a paper on chur I first read this book in high school and it made a great impression on me Huxley s account of the Church s investigation into demonic possession in a seventeenth century French town is a disturbing example of institutional abuse, sexual repression, and political ambition I ve never found such a riveting account surrounding the torture and execution of the priest Urbain Grandier Admittedly, I haven t looked very hard At the time I first read this work I was also researching a paper on church doctrine, and had just read an English translation of the Malleus Maleficarum That school term was a bit depressing, what with all the reminders of how incredibly shitty people can be in the interest of doing the right and proper thing I recently came across the Devils of Loudun again and decided to reread it This was a good move Huxley is adept in describing the complex web of events that led up to Grandier s arrest and trial, and his detailed description of the poor man s execution would make anyone beg off extra crispy fried anything for a few months As one would expect from a talent as chubby as Huxley s, the author resists applying modern sensibilities to historical characters He carefully, almost relentlessly exposes the self serving motives of the people involved without resorting to the complacency of hindsight Although not a work of fiction, his narrative style helps the reader feel that they are witnessing the events and, my god this is not a happy experience As a mature reader Ifully appreciate the behavior of the Ursuline nuns who Grandier was supposed to have corrupted The damaging and hysterical testimony of the Mother Superior in particular, was born of the severe sexual, political, and societal constraints placed on women at the time Grandier, an arrogant bon vivant, was at most guilty of being incredibly foolish by alienating the great and powerful Richelieu Laubardemont, who was of the same family as the Mother Superior, abdicated personal responsibility in the course of his actions with the same ruthless efficiency as a Nazi prison guard The community in which the trail and execution took place provides an example of group think and mass hysteria, reminding me how little we have changed in the last three hundred years It would be a mistake to consider this story as only an example of popery at its worst, because then you d miss the larger message It s about us, and how we fool ourselves into thinking that an atrocity is okay as long as we have a bright and shiny scaffold of excuses to justify our behavior Yet rereading the text somehow did not depress me this time Perhaps my coping mechanisms have matured along with the rest of me, or it could be that I knew what to expect This story was made into a Ken Russell film in the seventies called, The Devils I find the film kinda meh, except for the intelligent performance of Vanessa Redgrave as the Mother Superior I have mentioned the Devils of Loudun throughout the years and find that most people know nothing of it For the life of me I cannot fathom whypeople have not read this book It is one of Huxley s finest


  5. Jeffrey Taylor Jeffrey Taylor says:

    This book requires much of the reader and makes no concession to popularity It speaks to a reader devoted to truth and careful analysis who holds the author and the reader to superlative standards I can t begin to claim to fully measure up to that standard but the reader for whom this book was written would scoff a criticism of the language or presentation as too demanding The abundance of data, however obscure, would be expected not criticised Huxley made a deep survey into the theology This book requires much of the reader and makes no concession to popularity It speaks to a reader devoted to truth and careful analysis who holds the author and the reader to superlative standards I can t begin to claim to fully measure up to that standard but the reader for whom this book was written would scoff a criticism of the language or presentation as too demanding The abundance of data, however obscure, would be expected not criticised Huxley made a deep survey into the theology of the day of the trial He defined what that theology understood as the nature of soul He examines the evidence offered in the trial in light of that standard It is a very focused study Huxley avoided the historicist fallacy of criticizing the condemnation of Grandier based upon the values and knowledge of his day He could have drawn generalized conclusions but, instead, he takes thespecific approach of condemning only the finding of this trial Huxley does make references to his ideas and values but they are not essential to his conclusion It s difficult to show sympathy for Grandier when he seduced and abandoned Philippe after getting her pregnant Its difficult to excuse Grandier s dereliction of trust after his friend Louis Trincant had placed his daugher under Grandier s care However, Aldous examines the case for which Grandier was tried, not his general character It s a master work of self control and restraint The Devils of Loudun is still an important book for out time The crushing of Grandier s legs and his burning alive show the unforgiving malevolence of which fundamentalists are capable when placed in power and have the freedom to use that power, not for the public good but for their own personal privilege


  6. Mark Joyce Mark Joyce says:

    A challenging read, not least because it deals with some of the worst of human behaviour in a way that is depressingly recognisable It s challenging too in the sense of straddling multiple genres, which can be a great thing in literature but is problematic when it comes to history Huxley takes, to put it mildly, quite a few liberties with the source material His skill as a writer compounds the difficulty of knowing when one is reading genuine source based historical narrative versus literary A challenging read, not least because it deals with some of the worst of human behaviour in a way that is depressingly recognisable It s challenging too in the sense of straddling multiple genres, which can be a great thing in literature but is problematic when it comes to history Huxley takes, to put it mildly, quite a few liberties with the source material His skill as a writer compounds the difficulty of knowing when one is reading genuine source based historical narrative versus literary embellishment, philosophising and pure fiction This is disorientating, occasionally irritating and also intellectually problematic given that one of the purposes of the book seems to be as a sort of manifesto for Huxley s views about perception and mysticism All of that said, this is a fascinating and thought provoking book if read with one s critical faculties fully switched on I wouldn t call it history based on true events would probably be nearer the mark but would have absolutely no idea where else to shelve it in a book shop or library


  7. Jeremy Jeremy says:

    The Devils of Loudun This book left me speechless contemplating days after I had finished it Huxley s insight into the theology of Christianity is whole in its entirety There is no stone left unturned in this gruesome account of alleged demonic possession which led to numerous botched exorcisms The incident Initially onset by townhood pranksters, turned into political ammunition for taking down a Catholic priest who once considered himself the hierarchy of Loudun Through Urbain Grandier s The Devils of Loudun This book left me speechless contemplating days after I had finished it Huxley s insight into the theology of Christianity is whole in its entirety There is no stone left unturned in this gruesome account of alleged demonic possession which led to numerous botched exorcisms The incident Initially onset by townhood pranksters, turned into political ammunition for taking down a Catholic priest who once considered himself the hierarchy of Loudun Through Urbain Grandier s lustful shortcomings he garners enemies for taking advantage not only the fine prioresses of the region some of whom are daughters of important men in the clergy, but also manipulating those apart and following the church in a didactic fashion Becoming a man of hypocrisy his enemies multiply until a cabal is formed in his honor with the sole mission of destroying Urbain Through never ending trials and appeals, enough subjective evidence is garnered to sell the court on the fact that Urbain is guilty of sorcery and was the reason why the Loudun nuns and the prioress were possessed Once found guilty he was forced to admit his guilt within the final minutes of his life He would not succumb to confess that he was a sorcerer yet he had confessed to his earlier crimes against the church Through painstaking torture, Urbain continues to refuse to admit With this Labramont gets frustrated and manipulates the confession by saying that one who is possessed can not tell the truth and continues with the execution With Urbain burnt to a crisp on the stake, the cabal seems relatively happy That is until a good majority involved became possessed themselves seemingly out the vengeful righteousness of god the devil.Throughout the book Huxley pivots from one person topic to another depending on the point he is trying to bring to lite What I enjoyed most about his way of writing is that he will explain both sides of every story and continue to be loyal to the objective view at the same time Biases are heard throughout the book, but not without its adjoining counterpoint I also enjoyed how in the end he was able to bring us back to the original thesis in regard to how our decisions play a larger role in our endless search for transcendence other than what we choose to project from our cherry picked beliefs I overall loved this book If you like Huxley, 17th Century France, or interested in the history of Catholicism or Theology I would highly recommend this book


  8. Juxian Juxian says:

    I read the story of Loudun demonic possessions in so many renderings It s just the kind of a story that shocks and fascinates with every its turn, that compresses so much of the darkness and nastiness a human is capable of It s the case when a true story iscomplex and amazing than any fiction can be.I never thought one could tell this story in such a dry, dull, monotone way as Aldous Huxley did I mean how how can one suck all life out of a story that is overfilled with passions.Okay, I read the story of Loudun demonic possessions in so many renderings It s just the kind of a story that shocks and fascinates with every its turn, that compresses so much of the darkness and nastiness a human is capable of It s the case when a true story iscomplex and amazing than any fiction can be.I never thought one could tell this story in such a dry, dull, monotone way as Aldous Huxley did I mean how how can one suck all life out of a story that is overfilled with passions.Okay, I certainly expected something different from this book Had I wanted to read about Aldous Huxley and his endless musings, ideas and opinions on theology, spirituality, politics, etc Sorry, but I didn t And I didn t like this book at all


  9. Benjamin Stahl Benjamin Stahl says:

    The Devils of Loudun is a fascinating historical account, written like a fiction, detailing a scandalous affair in 1630s France A priest is falsely accused of cursing a convent of nuns, causing them to be possessed by demons Addressing the catastrophic dangers posed by religious hysteria, this book is by no means an attack on the Christian faith Rather, it is an incredibly insightful meditation on the pious life, the ordeals of the devout, and the mysterious workings of God Equally disturbin The Devils of Loudun is a fascinating historical account, written like a fiction, detailing a scandalous affair in 1630s France A priest is falsely accused of cursing a convent of nuns, causing them to be possessed by demons Addressing the catastrophic dangers posed by religious hysteria, this book is by no means an attack on the Christian faith Rather, it is an incredibly insightful meditation on the pious life, the ordeals of the devout, and the mysterious workings of God Equally disturbing as it is moving, I found it rivetting One of the best I have read this year


  10. Ulysses Ulysses says:

    A tasty combination of history, theology, and psychology, rolled up in a greasy tortilla of religious hysteria and garnished with Huxley s twin trademarks of 1 haughty contempt for the stupidity and gullibility of the unwashed masses and 2 sexsexsex Conceivably a reader could be pretty scandalized mortified by the content of this book but really, who these days thinks that people didn t treat each other like total shite in the 17th century, that organized religion hasn t historically bee A tasty combination of history, theology, and psychology, rolled up in a greasy tortilla of religious hysteria and garnished with Huxley s twin trademarks of 1 haughty contempt for the stupidity and gullibility of the unwashed masses and 2 sexsexsex Conceivably a reader could be pretty scandalized mortified by the content of this book but really, who these days thinks that people didn t treat each other like total shite in the 17th century, that organized religion hasn t historically been an astonishingly fertile source of depravity and woe, or that priests don t have sex Reading this produces the interesting sensation of having digested a number of closely related yet separate books, in the time it takes to read one book it s like an entire intro level college course on early modern European history, distilled down to one particular case study in one book I d say it verges on five star territory, except that toward the end, Huxley drops the narrativeor less entirely, switches into full strength Huxley Bloviation mode, and continues on with the bloviating for longer than necessary, which makes the book as a whole a littleexhausting to read than it needed to be


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