priestcraft


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Related to priestcraft: preliminary, supplemental, sought

priestcraft

(ˈpriːstˌkrɑːft)
n
1. (Ecclesiastical Terms) the art and skills involved in the work of a priest
2. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) derogatory the influence of priests upon politics or the use by them of secular power
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.priestcraft - a derogatory reference to priests who use their influence to control secular or political affairs
intrigue, machination - a crafty and involved plot to achieve your (usually sinister) ends
2.priestcraft - the skills involved in the work of a priest
craftsmanship, workmanship, craft - skill in an occupation or trade
References in classic literature ?
The honest lovers of liberty will, we doubt not, pardon that long digression into which we were led at the close of the last chapter, to prevent our history from being applied to the use of the most pernicious doctrine which priestcraft had ever the wickedness or the impudence to preach.
Two persons whose desires are moderate may live well enough in Brussels on an income which would scarcely afford a respectable maintenance for one in London: and that, not because the necessaries of life are so much dearer in the latter capital, or taxes so much higher than in the former, but because the English surpass in folly all the nations on God's earth, and are more abject slaves to custom, to opinion, to the desire to keep up a certain appearance, than the Italians are to priestcraft, the French to vain-glory, the Russians to their Czar, or the Germans to black beer.
Several old women, a fly-flapping girl of eleven, and two young men who had graduated from the canoe house of the youths and who were studying priestcraft under the master, composed the household and waited upon Jerry.
This the young woman did afterwards effectually, so that there was no priestcraft used here; and I should have thought it one of the most unjustifiable frauds in the world to have had it so.
The priestcraft of the East and West, of the Magian, Brahmin, Druid, and Inca, is expounded in the individual's private life.
By this I observed, that there is priestcraft even among the most blinded, ignorant pagans in the world; and the policy of making a secret of religion, in order to preserve the veneration of the people to the clergy, not only to be found in the Roman, but, perhaps, among all religions in the world, even among the most brutish and barbarous savages.
Sunderland, Exposed: Truth Vindicated: the Devil Mad, and Priestcraft in Danger
Later, the wealth his transportation company generated allowed him to pursue this grievance to greater effect, becoming copublisher of the newspapers Priestcraft Exposed and the Plain Truth (the latter subtitled Devoted to the Defense of Primitive Christianity, and to the Exposing of Frauds Committed under the Garb of Religion).
About Lord Shaftesbury he remarks that in order to reconcile some contradictory and all-too favorable notions about human nature "he favour'd deism, and, under pretence of lashing priestcraft and superstition, attack'd the Bible it self (2:357).
144) "Writers like William Blake explicitly used Toland's work on Druids as a source for indicting Christian priestcraft.
According to Bayly, these traditions "emphasized the rational and philosophical elements in their [native] religious inheritance, condemning superstition, mindless priestcraft, and magical beliefs" that they associated with Western religious culture.