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Although from the evidence of demographic data Merry's religious identity would be clearly within the bounds of the supposedly "modern" and rational values of evangelicalism, his diary reveals the persistence, well into the 1860s, of religious visions and "early modern" quasimagical rituals such as bibliomancy.
A few examples of topics covered include animistic and magical thinking, bibliomancy, cannibalism, witchcraft in European drama, familiars, the Inquisitions, Manicheanism, lycanthrophy, social and economic status of witches, popular persecution, and sacrament and sacramentals.
The Indian idol worship that Betteredge judges as primitive is juxtaposed with his perhaps equally primitive bibliomancy.