Joseph Glanvill Propagandist

1410 Words 6 Pages
Murderers and villains are often seen as monsters because they commit tangible crimes, but an even more dangerous threat lurks from within, whose crimes aren 't nearly palpable. Often before a crime occurs, the perpetrator considers committing the crime, and in the criminal justice system the word “premeditated” can indicate this and if proven, results in additional jail time. Joseph Glanvill was a 17th century English philosopher and one of the lead propagandists of his time. From an early age, Glanvill was raised in a scrupulous Puritan household. Later in his life, Glanvill became a pastor and it was during this time that he became interested in demons and proving the existence of witches. As a propagandist, Glanvill had the ability to easily …show more content…
These two qualifications made Glanvill the perfect enemy, whom everyone liked. As a writer, Glanvill was known for choosing the middle ground in socially controversial issues. This produced a unique effect in that the public became complacent and desensitized to some of his more radical work. As a member of the Royal Society Glanvill was never truly accepted because he was not a scientist and he became an outcast of sorts. Despite this, on charged issues the Society often called upon Glanvill to write in their defense. This built a reputation as an apologist, and his thoughts began to be viewed as the opinion of the Royal Society, allowing him to gain a wider audience. When he became an atheist, and started writing about the existence of demons and witches, and advocating that God didn 't exist many people took notice, believing that this view was held by the Royal Society as well. In a famous quote, Glanvill describes man as “weak” and “feeble” in comparison to the supernatural. To further prove his point to the justice of the peace, he wrote men were “infidels”, or weren 't Christians if they believed in the existence of God, but not in the existence of demons and Angels (Encyclopædia Britannica). He used fear and degradation in his writing to influence his readers, by using the fear of God to convince society that demons were a part of their faith. At that time, it was widely believed that the supernatural was an every part of life, and this is what Glanvill was able to exploit; Glanvill chose to induce mass hysteria when he incited a pernicious suspicion which struck the an already unstable, and conflict wrought town. It also became evident that he wanted to make the public feel inferior, both to the demons, and to himself as he was in the Royal Society. Another facet of his writing was that almost everything he wrote was targeted to

Related Documents