Magical Thinking: History, Possibility and the Idea of the Occult
How do we write about magic?
Responding to a renewed interest in the history of the occult, this volume examines the role of magic in a series of methodological controversies in the humanities. In case studies ranging from the 'necromancy' of historiography to the strident rationalism of the 'New Atheism,' Magical Thinking sets out the surprising ways in which scholars and critics have imagined the occult. The volume argues that thinking and writing about magic has engendered multiple epistemological crises, profoundly unsettling the understanding of history and knowledge in Western culture. By examining how scholarly writing has contended and conspired with discourses of enchantment, the book reveals the implications of magic - and its scholarship - for intellectual history.
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aesthetic Agamben alchemy Aleister Crowley anachronism angelology angels anthropology Augustine Augustine’s Beatific Vision belief book’s Boyle Boyle’s Bruno Latour century chapter Christian claim consider context critical culture Dawkins Dawkins’s dead demons demonstration Derrida Descartes discourse divine early modern efficacy episteme esotericism ethnographic exorcism experiment experimental science Frazer God Delusion Grimes historian historiographic History of Magic Honorius of Thebes human humanistic Ibid idea intellectual Jewish mysticism Kabbalah Kieckhefer Kieckhefer’s kind knowledge Latour Lehrich Magic and Experimental magician Mathiesen means mediation Medieval Magic mentalité Merkabah metaphor methodological Middle Ages Muedans Neoplatonic occult Occult Mind philosophy political postmodern practice premodern question Radical Orthodoxy Rationality religion religious rhetoric rites ritology ritual and performance ritual magic ritual studies Robert Boyle scholars Scholem scientific sense Skemer social Solomon spirit study of magic Styers superstition syncretism textual amulets theology theoretical theory things Thomas Thomas’s Thorndike thought tradition translation University vision Winkelman Wittgenstein zazen