Friday, June 3, 2011

Why study Renaissance Magic? notes for an introductory lecture/chapter

Why study Renaissance Magic?

01. Importance of magic to Renaissance culture and literature.
02. Unsolved problems of intellectual history.
03. Religious dimension of magical and anti-magical discourse.
04. Magical texts as objects of study, evidence for occult literary cultures.
05. Literary theory interest in magical modes of signification.
06. Philosophical/theological interest in Neoplatonism, Hermeticism, etc.
07. Reconstructing magical worldview for contemporary occultist or entertainment purposes.
08. Ethical and Social Justice angles--examining marginalization of magic.
09. History of Law--witchcraft and systems of evidence, ancient roman laws against magic.
10. History of Science--alchemy and ancient metallurgy, development of experimental methods, weight and measure, matter theory.
11. Theorizing religion, magic, and science.
12. Compelling material, oft-neglected, for a historical novel, film, or RPG.