Session Title

Reading Magic West to East

Sponsoring Organization(s)

Societas Magica

Organizer Name

Jason Roberts

Organizer Affiliation

Univ. of Texas-Austin

Presider Name

Claire Fanger

Presider Affiliation

Rice Univ.

Paper Title 1

Eastern Magic in a Western Home: The Influence of Iberian Translated Ghāyat al-Hakīm on a Fictional Necromancer

Presenter 1 Name

Veronica Menaldi

Presenter 1 Affiliation

Univ. of Minnesota-Twin Cities

Paper Title 2

East to West to East: Reading the Arabic Alchemical Tradition in Late Medieval Cracow

Presenter 2 Name

Agnieszka Rec

Presenter 2 Affiliation

Chemical Heritage Foundation

Paper Title 3

"Let Them Desiste from Hellenic Devilries": The Specter of Greek Paganism in the Anti-Magic Theology of the Russian Orthodox Stoglav

Presenter 3 Name

Jason Roberts

Start Date

13-5-2017 10:00 AM

Session Location

Fetzer 2016

Description

The idea of the “East” has played an especially important role in defining magic for the Latin West. Theologians including Tertullian, Augustine, Isidore, Gratian, and Aquinas constructed an ever more elaborate narrative of “true religion” against the foil of the artes magicae – referring to both real and imagined ritual technologies of the priestcraft of Christianity’s Persian neighbors to the East. As Christian missionaries and explorers encountered and described new cultures, they accounted for many of the practices they found within framework of a very Western category of “magic.” This session invites submissions that reexamine medieval appraisals of Eastern “magic” – as fantastic barbarism, ancient wisdom, or anything in between – in order to reveal what the process of reading magic West to East has created, distorted, or completely ignored.

David Porreca

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May 13th, 10:00 AM

Reading Magic West to East

Fetzer 2016

The idea of the “East” has played an especially important role in defining magic for the Latin West. Theologians including Tertullian, Augustine, Isidore, Gratian, and Aquinas constructed an ever more elaborate narrative of “true religion” against the foil of the artes magicae – referring to both real and imagined ritual technologies of the priestcraft of Christianity’s Persian neighbors to the East. As Christian missionaries and explorers encountered and described new cultures, they accounted for many of the practices they found within framework of a very Western category of “magic.” This session invites submissions that reexamine medieval appraisals of Eastern “magic” – as fantastic barbarism, ancient wisdom, or anything in between – in order to reveal what the process of reading magic West to East has created, distorted, or completely ignored.

David Porreca