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Publisher: Project MUSE   (Total: 294 journals)

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Journal Cover Magic, Ritual, and Witchcraft
  [10 followers]  Follow
    
   Full-text available via subscription Subscription journal
   ISSN (Print) 1556-8547 - ISSN (Online) 1940-5111
   Published by Project MUSE Homepage  [294 journals]
  • Stars and Saints: The Esotericist Astrology of the Sufi Occultist
           Aḥmad al-Būnī
    • Abstract: Though little explored in modern scholarship, the North African cum Egyptian Sufi Aḥmad al-Būnī's Laṭāʾif al-ishārātfī al-ḥurūf al-ʿulwīyāt (The Subtleties of the Allusions regarding the Superior Letters), completed in Cairo in 622/1225, is a key text for investigating an occultist tendency in late medieval Sufism that helped seed a renaissance of the occult sciences in early modern Islamic culture.1 The work contains al-Būnī's most explicit discussion of the "science of letters and names" (ʿilm al-ḥurūf wa-al-asmāʾ)—or "lettrism," as scholars recently have come to call it. Similar in ways to Jewish Kabbalah, lettrism was a cosmologically-oriented discourse on the powers of the Arabic alphabet and the names of God ... Read More
      Keywords: Sufi literature; Būnī, Aḥmad ibn ʻAlī,; Arabic literature; Hebrew literature, Medieval; Magic; Kemalpaşazade,; Occultism; Ermine,; Ireland; Religion and science; Kepler, Johannes,; Witchcraft
      PubDate: 2017-04-21T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Astrology in Hebrew Texts Before and After Islam
    • Abstract: One of the main aims of early Arabic astrological writings is to theorize the relation between the microcosm and the macrocosm in order to better understand how to operate on both. According to Dmitri Gutas, the Greek to Arabic translation movement begins with the accession of the Arab Abbasid dynasty to power and the founding of the city of Baghdad in 762. This Graeco-Arabic translation movement lasted for well over two centuries.1 During this period, Muslim scholars drew on translated Greek texts along with those of other traditions2 to develop a knowledge of the stars that was both cosmopolitan and particularistic; that is, a body of knowledge that absorbed a wide range of sources to formulate its models, but ... Read More
      Keywords: Sufi literature; Būnī, Aḥmad ibn ʻAlī,; Arabic literature; Hebrew literature, Medieval; Magic; Kemalpaşazade,; Occultism; Ermine,; Ireland; Religion and science; Kepler, Johannes,; Witchcraft
      PubDate: 2017-04-21T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Prefatory Note from the General Editors
    • Abstract: Magic, Ritual, and Witchcraft was founded exactly a decade ago, in 2006. Up to this point, issues have come out twice yearly. From the outset, the primary concern of the editors has been keeping standards high, and we have published only the best of our received submissions. Lately, however, so much of the incoming material has been high quality work of major interest that we have found ourselves wanting more space to put it in. Thus, we take great satisfaction in announcing that this issue opens the journal's first triannual year.Guest editors Elizabeth Sartell and Shandra Lamaute have assembled this first issue of 2017, Characterizing Astrology in the Pre-Modern Islamic World, gathering up important new work on ... Read More
      Keywords: Sufi literature; Būnī, Aḥmad ibn ʻAlī,; Arabic literature; Hebrew literature, Medieval; Magic; Kemalpaşazade,; Occultism; Ermine,; Ireland; Religion and science; Kepler, Johannes,; Witchcraft
      PubDate: 2017-04-21T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Introduction: Characterizing Astrology in the Pre-Modern Islamic World
    • Abstract: Abū Rayhān Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Bīrūnī (973–1048 CE) can appear, at times, to hold entirely contradictory beliefs. His involvement with astrology in particular is complicated, to say the least. For an example, we need look no further than one of his major treatises, Kitāb al-Tafhīm li-Awaʾil Sināʿa al-Tanjīm, often translated simply as Elements of Astrology. Throughout the book, al-Bīrūnī's position on astrology remains ambiguous. In the first chapter of Elements of Astrology, he states that, "a man does not merit the title of astronomer until he has attained proficiency in four sciences: first, geometry; secondly, arithmetic; thirdly, cosmography; and fourthly, judicial astrology."1 It is implicit that al-Bīrūnī ... Read More
      Keywords: Sufi literature; Būnī, Aḥmad ibn ʻAlī,; Arabic literature; Hebrew literature, Medieval; Magic; Kemalpaşazade,; Occultism; Ermine,; Ireland; Religion and science; Kepler, Johannes,; Witchcraft
      PubDate: 2017-04-21T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Afterword: Conjuncting Astrology and Lettrism, Islam and Judaism
    • Abstract: Language is a virus from outer space.These three papers represent a new turn in the intellectual historiography of the Islamic world: eschewing both positivism and the equally ideologically pernicious religionist reaction thereto, both of which have dominated the historiography throughout the twentieth century and to the present, they investigate their science—Islamic and Judeo-Islamic astrology—with evenhanded empiricism. Which is to say, they simply ignore the science-magic-religion triad as the nineteenth-century colonialist-orientalist-vivisectionist construct it is—for all that that triad still structures history of Islamic science in particular as an academic field.As a case in point: in 2016, egregiously, it ... Read More
      Keywords: Sufi literature; Būnī, Aḥmad ibn ʻAlī,; Arabic literature; Hebrew literature, Medieval; Magic; Kemalpaşazade,; Occultism; Ermine,; Ireland; Religion and science; Kepler, Johannes,; Witchcraft
      PubDate: 2017-04-21T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Practicing Astral Magic in Sixteenth-Century Ottoman Istanbul: A Treatise
           on Talismans Attributed to Ibn Kemāl (d. 1534)
    • Abstract: The Ottoman courtly context in the "long sixteenth century" (1450 to 1640), as Fernand Braudel has called it, is an ideal but neglected historical laboratory for examining the use of occult lore for purposes predictive, protective, and entertaining. A sizeable yet sorely understudied amount of archival and material sources testifies to the fact that several sixteenth-century Ottoman sultans utilized an impressive array of occult arts in furtherance of their royal aims. For instance, a number of astrologers and alchemists worked for Bāyezīd II (r. 1481–1512), whose keen interest in and cultivation of these sciences provoked the curiosity of his contemporaries.1 His son Selīm I (r. 1512–1520) was attentive to the ... Read More
      Keywords: Sufi literature; Būnī, Aḥmad ibn ʻAlī,; Arabic literature; Hebrew literature, Medieval; Magic; Kemalpaşazade,; Occultism; Ermine,; Ireland; Religion and science; Kepler, Johannes,; Witchcraft
      PubDate: 2017-04-21T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • (De)colonizing Early Modern Occult Philosophy
    • Abstract: The quest to marry Plato and Aristotle defined Western intellectual history in the medieval and early modern periods; and it was only theoretically and historically achieved by means of Arabic astral magic. So argues Liana Saif in The Arabic Influences on Early Modern Occult Philosophy, a recent installment in Palgrave's burgeoning Historical Studies in Witchcraft and Magic series. This study is a thoroughly revised version of the author's 2011 Birkbeck, University of London doctoral thesis; it dispenses with that study's concluding discussion of seventeenth-century European developments (material she has published separately),1 and adds instead two chapters on the Arabic-Latin translation movement of the twelfth ... Read More
      Keywords: Sufi literature; Būnī, Aḥmad ibn ʻAlī,; Arabic literature; Hebrew literature, Medieval; Magic; Kemalpaşazade,; Occultism; Ermine,; Ireland; Religion and science; Kepler, Johannes,; Witchcraft
      PubDate: 2017-04-21T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • The Strange Case of Ermine de Reims: A Medieval Woman Between Demons and
           Saints by Renate Blumenfeld-Kosinski (review)
    • Abstract: Between November 1395 and August 1396, Ermine, a poor peasant widow from Vermandois, in Northern France, was subjected to a violent and brutal religious experience, which mostly took place in the small room where she was living in a state of semi-seclusion; the cell was adjacent to the priory of Saint-Paul du Val-des-Écoliers, whose canons were protectors and spiritual guides of the humble beata. The story is highly original because of the endless succession of hierophanies and diabolophanies the woman experienced in such a short period of time. During those ten months, Ermine's most frequent visitors were demons that tirelessly plagued her in the most diverse ways, both day and night. To this end, as if they were ... Read More
      Keywords: Sufi literature; Būnī, Aḥmad ibn ʻAlī,; Arabic literature; Hebrew literature, Medieval; Magic; Kemalpaşazade,; Occultism; Ermine,; Ireland; Religion and science; Kepler, Johannes,; Witchcraft
      PubDate: 2017-04-21T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • City of Demons: Violence, Ritual, and Christian Power in Late Antiquity by
           Dayna S. Kalleres (review)
    • Abstract: City of Demons attempts "a cultural history of urban demonologies" in the post-Constantinian city (6) to show that the demonization of religious opponents performed by ecclesiastical leaders, in both the discursive and ritual spheres, was a powerful strategy for urban Christianization in Late Antiquity. The author bases her argument on the assumption that urban rituals of engagement with demons were different from those performed outside the city, e.g. in the Egyptian and Syrian deserts. Hence, through diabolizing others' forms of ritual and rhetoric, bishops gained authority and control in and over the Late Antique city. While Late Antique scholarship, largely influenced by Peter Brown, has concentrated on the ... Read More
      Keywords: Sufi literature; Būnī, Aḥmad ibn ʻAlī,; Arabic literature; Hebrew literature, Medieval; Magic; Kemalpaşazade,; Occultism; Ermine,; Ireland; Religion and science; Kepler, Johannes,; Witchcraft
      PubDate: 2017-04-21T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • The Templars, the Witch, and the Wild Irish: Vengeance and Heresy in
           Medieval Ireland by Maeve Brigid Callan (review)
    • Abstract: Maeve Callan's readable, well-structured, and scholarly book examines Irish medieval heresy trials of the volatile fourteenth century through the lens of three little-studied, interlocking case studies. Its introductory chapter offers a solid overview of Ireland's distinctive brand of Christianity and the divisions this caused after Gregorian Reform and the Norman Conquest of England. It also skilfully situates the book within existing historiography and states clearly how it throws light on a number of important areas, including: the relationships between the English, Irish, and Anglo-Irish ethnic groupings in Ireland, and how the Church influenced them; the political, cultural, and gender aspects of heresy; and ... Read More
      Keywords: Sufi literature; Būnī, Aḥmad ibn ʻAlī,; Arabic literature; Hebrew literature, Medieval; Magic; Kemalpaşazade,; Occultism; Ermine,; Ireland; Religion and science; Kepler, Johannes,; Witchcraft
      PubDate: 2017-04-21T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • A History of Science, Magic and Belief: From Medieval to Early Modern
           Europe by Steven P. Marrone (review)
    • Abstract: Steven Marrone has been known for decades as one of the leading experts in thirteenth-century European intellectual history, with special reference to the meeting points within that history of the traditions of learning later called theology, science, and magic. For some years now he has been working toward an examination of the impact of those high medieval ideas and debates on later centuries, and this book is the very welcome result. It is essentially a study of the relationship between learned attitudes to religion, science, and magic between the twelfth and seventeenth centuries, with a naturally heavy emphasis on the high medieval period and also a prelude exploring the intellectual and legal backdrop to that ... Read More
      Keywords: Sufi literature; Būnī, Aḥmad ibn ʻAlī,; Arabic literature; Hebrew literature, Medieval; Magic; Kemalpaşazade,; Occultism; Ermine,; Ireland; Religion and science; Kepler, Johannes,; Witchcraft
      PubDate: 2017-04-21T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Dissimulation and Deceit in Early Modern Europe ed. by Miriam Eliav-Feldon
           and Tamar Herzig (review)
    • Abstract: Imposture, pretense, dissimulation, deceit, lying, and forgery have increasingly become the foci of scholarly publications in the last decades. Natalie-Zemon Davis' famous analysis of the story of Martin Guerre, Carlo Ginsburg's book on Nicodemism, Anthony Grafton's overview on forgery, Jon Snyder's monograph on dissimulation and secrecy, Stephen Greenblatt's investigation of bluffing travel book authors, and Perez Zagorin's Way of Lying concentrate on various aspects of false identity and issues of questioned authenticity in the early modern period.The volume under review groups eleven studies, most of which were originally presented as contributions to an international conference held at Tel Aviv University in ... Read More
      Keywords: Sufi literature; Būnī, Aḥmad ibn ʻAlī,; Arabic literature; Hebrew literature, Medieval; Magic; Kemalpaşazade,; Occultism; Ermine,; Ireland; Religion and science; Kepler, Johannes,; Witchcraft
      PubDate: 2017-04-21T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • The Theatre of the Occult Revival: Alternative Spiritual Performance from
           1875 to the Present by Edmund B. Lingan (review)
    • Abstract: As Henrik Bogdan importantly reminds us, the diverse currents of historical and contemporary Western esotericism are irreducible to their textual productions alone.1 If we want to know how occult belief was not only understood but experienced by historic actors, we need to look beyond the printed page toward the arenas of ritual and performance. Edmund B. Lingan's The Theatre of the Occult Revival makes a very welcome contribution to this necessary redirection, constituting the first ever monograph-length study of what Lingan terms the "alternative spiritual performance" produced by occult revivalists and neopagans from the late nineteenth century to the present day. Here readers will find discussions of the ... Read More
      Keywords: Sufi literature; Būnī, Aḥmad ibn ʻAlī,; Arabic literature; Hebrew literature, Medieval; Magic; Kemalpaşazade,; Occultism; Ermine,; Ireland; Religion and science; Kepler, Johannes,; Witchcraft
      PubDate: 2017-04-21T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • The Astronomer and the Witch: Johannes Kepler's Fight for his Mother by
           Ulinka Rublack (review)
    • Abstract: The Jesuit Friedrich Spee, a fierce opponent of the witch persecutions, wrote in his Cautio Criminalis (1631) that "the only way trials are conducted is so that in the end the truth does not shine brightly throughout Germany, but bonfires."1 However, Ulinka Rublack's monograph describes a remarkable witch trial in which the truth ultimately did cast its brilliant shine, thanks to the accused woman's stout defendant: the astronomer Johannes Kepler, famed for his discovery of the three laws of planetary motion. As a man of science, Kepler was skilled in defending his astronomical insights and refuting his academic opponents, but upon learning that his aged, illiterate mother, Katharina Kepler, had been accused of ... Read More
      Keywords: Sufi literature; Būnī, Aḥmad ibn ʻAlī,; Arabic literature; Hebrew literature, Medieval; Magic; Kemalpaşazade,; Occultism; Ermine,; Ireland; Religion and science; Kepler, Johannes,; Witchcraft
      PubDate: 2017-04-21T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Martin Delrio: Demonology and Scholarship in the Counter-Reformation by
           Jan Machielsen (review)
    • Abstract: One cannot say of Martin Delrio, as was said of his fellow Jesuit, Athanasius Kircher, that he was a man who knew everything. But it was said, and acknowledged all over Europe, that he was a man of quite extraordinary learning. Machielsen's biography concentrates on illustrating and elucidating this aspect of a remarkable character who lived in remarkable times and was thoroughly informed by them, although Machielsen's account of him spreads well beyond the confines of pen, book, and lamplight.Delrio (1551–1608) was born in Antwerp of well-to-do parents, and spent his formative years and much of his young adulthood in the thick of the religious and social upheavals of the Counter-Reformation in general and Dutch ... Read More
      Keywords: Sufi literature; Būnī, Aḥmad ibn ʻAlī,; Arabic literature; Hebrew literature, Medieval; Magic; Kemalpaşazade,; Occultism; Ermine,; Ireland; Religion and science; Kepler, Johannes,; Witchcraft
      PubDate: 2017-04-21T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • The Law of Possession: Ritual, Healing, and the Secular State ed. by
           William S. Sax and Helene Basu (review)
    • Abstract: This is an exciting, well organized and written volume about the controversial, unresolved, and often unexpected interconnection between possession, healing, and the law in contemporary India, Africa, and China. It shows that rationalization processes expected of "modern" states are seldom complete and thus might be of influence on some but not all sections of the population in contemporary societies. Contributors-editors William Sax and Helene Basu deftly tied together this collection of chapters with a clear, compelling argument that systematically questions the inevitable and all-encompassing disenchantment and secularization processes expected of modern societies. Social and cultural anthropology, mental ... Read More
      Keywords: Sufi literature; Būnī, Aḥmad ibn ʻAlī,; Arabic literature; Hebrew literature, Medieval; Magic; Kemalpaşazade,; Occultism; Ermine,; Ireland; Religion and science; Kepler, Johannes,; Witchcraft
      PubDate: 2017-04-21T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Witchcraft in Early Modern Poland, 1500–1800 by Wanda Wyporska
           (review)
    • Abstract: The first thing you notice when you pick up Wanda Wyporska's recent introduction to Polish witchcraft is the arresting illustration on the cover: a witch in peasant garb stands with a huge tankard in one hand, and her other on the back of her companion, a devil, who is the spitting image of Max in Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are. He has the large, clumsy clawed feet, tail, and oversized ears of Max's pajamas, but in contrast to the witch, who smiles knowingly, the devil seems fretful, as if uncertain about his life choices and the wild rumpus to come. This image is apt as well as charming, introducing one of Wyporska's principal themes: that in early modern Poland, both witches and devils were complex ... Read More
      Keywords: Sufi literature; Būnī, Aḥmad ibn ʻAlī,; Arabic literature; Hebrew literature, Medieval; Magic; Kemalpaşazade,; Occultism; Ermine,; Ireland; Religion and science; Kepler, Johannes,; Witchcraft
      PubDate: 2017-04-21T00:00:00-05:00
       
 
 
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