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Magic, Science, and Religion in Early Modern Europe

Magic, Science, and Religion in Early Modern Europe

by Mark A. Waddell


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From the recovery of ancient ritual magic at the height of the Renaissance to the ignominious demise of alchemy at the dawn of the Enlightenment, Mark A. Waddell explores the rich and complex ways that premodern people made sense of their world. He describes a time when witches flew through the dark of night to feast on the flesh of unbaptized infants, magicians conversed with angels or struck pacts with demons, and astrologers cast the horoscopes of royalty. Ground-breaking discoveries changed the way that people understood the universe while, in laboratories and coffee houses, philosophers discussed how to reconcile the scientific method with the veneration of God. This engaging, illustrated new study introduces readers to the vibrant history behind the emergence of the modern world.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781108425285
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 01/28/2021
Series: New Approaches to the History of Science and Medicine
Pages: 300
Product dimensions: 5.98(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.55(d)

About the Author

Mark A. Waddell is Associate Professor at Lyman Briggs College, Michigan State University.

Table of Contents

Introduction; 1. Hermeticism, the Cabala, and the Search for Ancient Wisdom; 2. Witchcraft and Demonology; 3. Magic, Medicine, and the Microcosm; 4. A New Cosmos: Copernicus, Galileo, and the Motion of the Earth; 5. Looking for God in the Cosmic Machine; 6. Manipulating Nature: Experiment and Alchemy in the Scientific Revolution; 7. A New World? The Dawn of the Enlightenment; Conclusion; Bibliographical Essays.

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