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John Dee's Occultism: Magical Exaltation through Powerful Signs
     

John Dee's Occultism: Magical Exaltation through Powerful Signs

by Gyorgy E. Szonyi
 

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A comprehensive look at the life and work of one of the towering figures of Renaissance mysticism.

Delving into the life and work of John Dee, Renaissance mathematician and “conjurer to Queen Elizabeth,” György E. Szo‹nyi presents an analysis of Renaissance occultism and its place in the chronology of European cultural history.

Overview

A comprehensive look at the life and work of one of the towering figures of Renaissance mysticism.

Delving into the life and work of John Dee, Renaissance mathematician and “conjurer to Queen Elizabeth,” György E. Szo‹nyi presents an analysis of Renaissance occultism and its place in the chronology of European cultural history. Culling examples of “magical thinking” from classical, medieval, and Renaissance philosophers, Szo‹nyi revisits the body of Dee’s own scientific and spiritual writings as reflective sources of traditional mysticism. Exploring the intellectual foundations of magic, Szo‹nyi focuses on the ideology of exaltatio, the glorification or deification of man. He argues that it was the desire for exaltatio that framed and tied together the otherwise varied thoughts and activities of John Dee as well.

Editorial Reviews

Magic, Ritual, and Witchcraft

...Szonyi offers a helpful and informative sketch of several key versions of exaltatio from the Corpus hermeticum, from Plotinus, Porphyry, Iamblichus, and Proclus, from medieval ceremonial magic, and from the key Renaissance texts of Ficino, Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, Trithemius, Agrippa, Paracelsus, and Postel.

Renaissance Quarterly

...the scholar at whatever level interested in understanding the range and scope of occult philosophy in the early modern period, will find Szonyi's one of the best first books to read.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780791462249
Publisher:
State University of New York Press
Publication date:
01/15/2010
Series:
SUNY series in Western Esoteric Traditions Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
380
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)

What People are Saying About This

Arthur Versluis

Szonyi has much of value to say about John Dee. He makes a significant contribution to the field of Dee studies and to the understanding of Renaissance/early modern European esotericism, especially from the perspective of Eastern Europe. (Arthur Versluis, author of Restoring Paradise: Western Esotericism, Literature, Art, and Consciousness)

Antoine Faivre

György E. Szonyi writes with intelligence and clarity. This work is a useful complement to past scholarly works on John Dee and is a must for any specialized library. (Antoine Faivre, author of Theosophy, Imagination, Tradition: Studies in Western Esotericism)

Meet the Author

György E. Szo‹nyi is Professor of English at the University of Szeged and of Intellectual History at the Central European University, Budapest. He is the author of two other books on John Dee.

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