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Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe (review)

Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe (review) Magic, Ritual, and Witchcraft Summer 2008 any hard historical purchase. An example is the claim that the book inverts the usual question: ``which elements of Dee's complex and largely unscientific ideas contributed to the development of modern science?'' by asking instead: ``in what way Dee's scientific activity inspired his visionary and occult program'' (p. 12). Occasionally, Szo ´´nyi seems to forget even his own polarity, as in: ``Once again we have arrived at Dee's most ambitious magical program: he aspired for this state of exaltatio in order to understand fully the work of creation and become God's partner. His whole scientific program was subordinated to this goal'' (p. 199, my italics). Surely, the only way to write about the historical phenomena to which terms like ``magic'' and ``science'' are usually applied is either to abandon these labels altogether or to adopt-- but only as a matter of report--those used by the historical agents in question. In Dee's lifetime, for example, ``magia'' may have had multiple meanings but none of them is, in principle, historically unrecoverable. For these reasons, the opening section of John Dee's Occultism, which is actually called ``Definitions,'' is historically unhelpful, leaving the reader less well http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Magic, Ritual, and Witchcraft University of Pennsylvania Press

Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe (review)

Magic, Ritual, and Witchcraft , Volume 3 (1) – May 14, 2008

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Publisher
University of Pennsylvania Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 University of Pennsylvania Press
ISSN
1940-5111
Publisher site
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Abstract

Magic, Ritual, and Witchcraft Summer 2008 any hard historical purchase. An example is the claim that the book inverts the usual question: ``which elements of Dee's complex and largely unscientific ideas contributed to the development of modern science?'' by asking instead: ``in what way Dee's scientific activity inspired his visionary and occult program'' (p. 12). Occasionally, Szo ´´nyi seems to forget even his own polarity, as in: ``Once again we have arrived at Dee's most ambitious magical program: he aspired for this state of exaltatio in order to understand fully the work of creation and become God's partner. His whole scientific program was subordinated to this goal'' (p. 199, my italics). Surely, the only way to write about the historical phenomena to which terms like ``magic'' and ``science'' are usually applied is either to abandon these labels altogether or to adopt-- but only as a matter of report--those used by the historical agents in question. In Dee's lifetime, for example, ``magia'' may have had multiple meanings but none of them is, in principle, historically unrecoverable. For these reasons, the opening section of John Dee's Occultism, which is actually called ``Definitions,'' is historically unhelpful, leaving the reader less well

Journal

Magic, Ritual, and WitchcraftUniversity of Pennsylvania Press

Published: May 14, 2008

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