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 anachronism angelology angels anthropology Aquinas associated 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 discourse divine Eagleton early modern efficacy episteme epistemological esotericism ethnographic exorcism experiment experimental science formulation Frazer God Delusion Grimes historian historiography History of Magic Honorius of Thebes human humanistic idea intellectual Jewish mysticism John Dee Kabbalah Kieckhefer Kieckhefer’s kind knowledge Latour Lehrich Magic and Experimental magician Mathiesen means mediation Medieval Magic Merkabah metaphor methodological Middle Ages Muedans necromancy Neoplatonic occult Occult Mind philosophy political postmodern practice problem Q Ibid question Radical Orthodoxy Rationality religion religious rhetoric rites ritology ritual magic ritual studies Robert Boyle role scholars Scholem scientific sense Skemer social Solomon spirit study of magic superstition syncretism textual amulets theology theoretical theory Thomas Thomas’s Thorndike thought tradition translation vision Winkelman Wittgenstein zazen