Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Dr. John Dee and Arguing with Angels

Over at PaleoJudaica a blog entry caught my attention regarding a new book on Dr. John Dee that some of the readers of this blog may or may not be interested in. The release date is May 2012 and cost for hardback and electronic copy is $75.

A 16th-century portrait of Dr John Dee by
an unknown artist.

Here is the SUNY PRESS link and a copy of the summary:

An exploration of John Dee’s Enochian magic of angel contact, its reinterpretation over the years, and its endurance to the present day.
This fascinating work explores John Dee’s Enochian magic and the history of its reception. Dee (1527–1608/9), an accomplished natural philosopher and member of Queen Elizabeth I’s court, was also an esoteric researcher whose diaries detail years of conversations with angels achieved with the aid of crystal-gazer Edward Kelley. His Enochian magic offers a method for contacting angels and demons based on secrets found in the apocryphal Book of Enoch.

Examining this magical system from its Renaissance origins to present day occultism, Egil Asprem shows how the reception of Dee’s magic is replete with struggles to construct and negotiate authoritative interpretational frameworks for doing magic. Arguing with Angels offers a novel, nuanced approach to questions about how ritual magic has survived the advent of modernity and demonstrates the ways in which modern culture has recreated magical discourse.

Egil Asprem is a Research Fellow at the Center for History of Hermetic Philosophy and Related Currents at the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands.