Download Trithemius and Magical Theology: A Chapter in the by Noel L. Brann PDF

By Noel L. Brann

Via an exam of Benedictine abbot Trithemius (1462-1516), this publication explores the intersection of the early glossy debate over occult reviews with a few contemporaneous advancements: past due medieval mysticism, the revival of historical letters, the Catholic and Protestant reform routine, the witch hunts, and the medical revolution.

A Benedictine dwelling to the brink of the Reformation interval, Trithemius excelled for many of his profession within the fields of monastic reform, mystical theology, and Christian Humanism, after which, all of sudden, introduced himself to the realm as an recommend of magic.

In many ways paralleling the lifetime of his extra well-known modern Faustus, Trithemius, by contrast, left to posterity a physique of theoretical paintings in help of his magical operations. Formulated to justify his personal forte, cryptography, Trimethius's occult idea is going past developing the compatibility of magic with orthodox Christian doctrine. Its easy thrust, at the version of mystical theology, is to offer magic as a suitable motor vehicle to express the soul from the finite to the countless.

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Additional resources for Trithemius and Magical Theology: A Chapter in the Controversy over Occult Studies in Early Modern Europe

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Previous page page_56 next page > Page 56 following the reasoning of those opposed to the witch persecutions, witches are more to be pitied than feared. In both of these respects Trithemius made clear his belief that the case for the inculpation of witches is far stronger than that for exculpation. In the first instance witches are endowed with the capacity to withstand direct demonic intrusions, and in the second instance, with the capacity to withstand indirect intrusions through melancholy frenzy.

Those, accordingly, who effect their marvels in commerce, not with God and the angels but with the  < previous page page_45 next page > If you like this book, buy it! < previous page page_46 next page > 39 40 Page 46 demons, cannot properly be termed miracle workers but counterfeiters of miracles. " 41 Of the various ways in which the demons, together with their sorcerous human allies, opted to express their apish ways, Trithemius emphasized two disciplines in particular readily lending themselves to their deceptive aims.

In a further application of the scholastic maxim "faith seeking understanding," Trithemius first of all addressed himself to understanding why a good God allows evil demons to intrude into and disturb the divinely instituted cosmic order. On that foundation Trithemius could then proceed to the next step of clarifying the many ways, including the way of magic, by which the demons set about luring human souls into their grasp. Sorcery, Sin and Divine Providence A clue to the important part demonology came to play in the literary career of Trithemius is found in a letter to a friend soon after his arrival in Würzburg.

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