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Extra resources for A history of crusaiders Vol.3. The Kingdom of Acre and Other Crusades

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People’s desire to know the future promoted the impious cult of the ancient gods (idolatry). Consequently, the ancient diviners who practiced the different mantic disciplines inspired by the gods were also considered divine. Since the ancient gods are identified by William as demons, he considers the revelation that inspired those diviners diabolic. The distinction between natural prophecy and necromantic divination outlined by William remains somehow blurred. He claims that since God’s influence spreads around the whole natural world, it is likely that visions in divinatory magical operations also have natural causes if they are based on natural creatures and substances.

They are excellent at metaphysics and rhetoric. But, if they lack intelligence, they are full of fantastic reasons and confound true and sophistic wisdom. Finally, others have a superior disposition in both intellect and imagination. In his Disputed Question on Prophecy, Albert had already pointed out that the best condition to receive natural knowledge of the future is a pure composition of the organ of imagination and its proper position and proportion in relation to the rest of the body. The best condition to judge such knowledge is pure and simple intelligence.

However, these divinatory resources must instead be considered as stemming from an intellectual substance, an evil spirit, as demonstrated by the fact that they belonged to a pagan religion. 31 Of course, this is not prophecy, although sometimes it is called this name: in the Scriptures, such diviners are never named merely ‘prophets’ but ‘false prophets’ or ‘prophets of the idols’. This prophecy can be distinguished through certain signs and because it is not infallible. 4. Knowledge from the Stars Once it is established that there is knowledge of the future not directly stemming from God or other spiritual beings, the question is where it comes from.

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A history of crusaiders Vol.3. The Kingdom of Acre and Other Crusades by Runciman S


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