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John Dee's Occultism
Magical Exaltation through Powerful Signs
John Dee's Occultism
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Gyorgy E. Szonyi - Author
SUNY series in Western Esoteric Traditions
Price: $95.00 
Hardcover - 380 pages
Release Date: June 2005
ISBN10: 0-7914-6223-4
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-6223-2

Price: $33.95 
Paperback - 380 pages
Release Date: January 2010
ISBN10: 0-7914-6224-2
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-6224-9

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Summary Read First Chapter image missing

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 Szonyi 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, Szonyi revisits the body of Dee's own scientific and spiritual writings as reflective sources of traditional mysticism. Exploring the intellectual foundations of magic, Szonyi 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.

“…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.” — Magic, Ritual, and Witchcraft

“…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.” — Renaissance Quarterly

"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

"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

György E. Szonyi 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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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Part 1: Definitions

1. Principles and Demarcations

The Challenge of the Esoteric
From Science History to Cultural Anthropology
The Post-Communist Perspective

2. Mysticism, Occultism, Magic Exaltation

Fall and Rebirth
The Organic World Model
The Doctrine of Exaltation

Part 2: Input “In many bokes and sundry languages...”

3. The Sources of Renaissance Magic

Traditions of Classical Magic
Frances Yates and the Rediscovery of Renaissance Magic
Hermetic Magic
Neoplatonism andClassical Theurgy

Medieval Magic
Medieval Ceremonial Magic
Magical Exaltatioin the Picatrix

4.Florentine Neoplatonism and Christian Magic

Ficino’s Talismanic Magic

Pico’s Encomium of Exaltatio
Cabala and ‘exaltatio’
Pico’s “Oration,”Cabalistic Magic, and Exaltatio

5. Occult Philosophy, Symbolism, and Science

Trithemius and Angel Magic

Agrippa’s Tripartite Magic
De occulta philosophia
De incertitudine et vanitateomnium scientiarum

Paracelsus, Alchemy, Theosophy
Enoch, Science, Apocalyptic Prophecy

Part 3: Output “Glyms or Beame of Radicall Truthes”

6. The Ideology and Occult Symbolism of Dee’s NaturalPhilosophy

Astrology: Propaedeumata aphoristica
Alchemy: Monas hieroglyphica
Magic: The Mathematicall Praeface

7. Illumination and Angel Magic

Angel Magic and the Search for the Perfect Language

The Theory and Technology of Angel Magic
Theory and Sources
The Choreography of theScrying Sessions

Dee’s Religion and Theology
The Theological Framework of His Vision
Humanism, Religion, and Denomination

8. Dee and the Interpretive Community

“Eastward Ho!” Dee, Patronage, and Central Europe
The Lure of East-Central Europe
The Lure ofDee and Kelly for Eastern Europe

Meric Casaubon and the Politics of Interpretation
Magician, Heretic, and Witch
Casaubon’s Politics

9. Conclusion: Dee and Renaissance Symbolism

John Dee’s Works
Sources and Their Modern Editions
Reference Works Parenthetically Cited

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