Session Title

Occult Blockbusters of the Islamicate World II: Arabic and Persian

Sponsoring Organization(s)

Research Group on Manuscript Evidence; Societas Magica

Organizer Name

Matthew Melvin-Koushki

Organizer Affiliation

Univ. of South Carolina

Presider Name

Liana Saif

Presider Affiliation

Univ. of Oxford

Paper Title 1

Fakhr al-Din al-Razi's Hidden Secret and Islamic Occult Soteriology

Presenter 1 Name

Michael Noble

Presenter 1 Affiliation

Warburg Institute

Paper Title 2

A Sorcerer's Handbook: Al-Sakkaki's Thirteenth-Century Complete Book

Presenter 2 Name

Emily Selove

Presenter 2 Affiliation

Univ. of Exeter

Paper Title 3

"If you don't learn alchemy, you'll learn eloquence": The Golden Slivers by Ibn Arfa‘ Ra’s

Presenter 3 Name

Nicholas G. Harris

Presenter 3 Affiliation

Univ. of Pennsylvania

Paper Title 4

Kāshifī's Qasimian Secrets: The Safavid Imperialization of a Timurid Manual of Magic

Presenter 4 Name

Matthew Melvin-Koushki

Start Date

12-5-2018 3:30 PM

Session Location

Bernhard 204

Description

The Picatrix, as is well known, was without question historically the most popular of all Arabic occult-scientific manuals—but only in Latin Europe. While the original Goal of the Sage (Ghāyat al-ḥakīm) was certainly long prized in the Islamicate world as well, other Arabic and Persian manuals came to far outstrip it in popularity and influence from the 12th century on­ward, and circulated over geographical areas equally vast. Due to persistent eurocentrism, how­ever, these occult blockbusters of the Islamicate world remain virtually unknown to the scholarship on medieval and early modern Western (Islamo-Judeo-Christianate) occultism. To help rectify this gross imbalance, this panel presents four Islamicate occult-scientific manuals, three in Arabic and one in Persian, that too enjoyed blockbuster status over centuries.

Matthew Melvin-Koushki

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May 12th, 3:30 PM

Occult Blockbusters of the Islamicate World II: Arabic and Persian

Bernhard 204

The Picatrix, as is well known, was without question historically the most popular of all Arabic occult-scientific manuals—but only in Latin Europe. While the original Goal of the Sage (Ghāyat al-ḥakīm) was certainly long prized in the Islamicate world as well, other Arabic and Persian manuals came to far outstrip it in popularity and influence from the 12th century on­ward, and circulated over geographical areas equally vast. Due to persistent eurocentrism, how­ever, these occult blockbusters of the Islamicate world remain virtually unknown to the scholarship on medieval and early modern Western (Islamo-Judeo-Christianate) occultism. To help rectify this gross imbalance, this panel presents four Islamicate occult-scientific manuals, three in Arabic and one in Persian, that too enjoyed blockbuster status over centuries.

Matthew Melvin-Koushki