One of the places in which medieval churchmen tackled questions of discipline and diversity was in their writing on magic. Magic appeared in many different kinds of ecclesiastical writing, including canon law, theology, and the records and manuals of the inquisition. Some of these sources have been well studied; in particular, historians have often attempted to trace the medieval origins of the early modern witch-hunts in theology and inquisition records. However, many other texts have received little attention, among them the pastoral manuals written from the thirteenth century onwards, which instructed priests on how to preach and hear confessions. In contrast to academic theology and inquisitors’ manuals, which catered for specialist readers, pastoral manuals were aimed at any Latin-literate cleric, perhaps especially at students in England’s secular and religious schools. Because they reflect what this wider audience might be expected to encounter, they offer a broader perspective than do the specialist texts on why medieval people employed diverse ritual practices, and why churchmen labelled some of these practices as ‘magic’ and sought to discipline them.