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Eros and Magic in the Renaissance
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Eros and Magic in the Renaissance

4.3  ·  Rating Details ·  196 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
It is a widespread prejudice of modern, scientific society that "magic" is merely a ludicrous amalgam of recipes and methods derived from primitive and erroneous notions about nature. Eros and Magic in the Renaissance challenges this view, providing an in-depth scholarly explanation of the workings of magic and showing that magic continues to exist in an altered form even ...more
Paperback, 271 pages
Published November 15th 1987 by University Of Chicago Press (first published 1984)
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M.A. Demers
Jun 19, 2011 M.A. Demers rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own-and-read
This is one of my favourite books from my university days. Not for the faint of intellect -- it took me three tries to really understand it -- but once you do a door opens into a whole new understanding of Renaissance philosophy. And it's also fun to learn the origin of myths like why vampires don't reflect in glass, or to see the origins of quantum physics in the writings of a ninth-century Arab philosopher. The title is spot-on: I loved it. It's magic.
Apr 10, 2009 Lavinia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ro, 2009, non-fiction
Imi pare rau sa o spun, dar prezentarea lui Sorin Antohi ma lasa rece si imi transmite o insiruire de termeni meniti sa puna potentialul cititor: a. pe fuga b. pe ginduri. Daca cititorul face parte din categoria b si are curiozitatea sa rasfoiasca putin, bravo lui, s-ar putea sa aiba sansa unei lecturi reusite. Daca, in schimb, ramine doar cu citirea prezentarii si renunta (categoria a, deci) acest neajuns cade absolut in circa lui S.A. Pentru ca, asa cum spuneam, are o prezentare anosta, rasufl ...more
Oct 21, 2010 Gordan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
Brilliant, radical, esoteric, complex, difficult, sheer genius.
I can hardly do justice to this brilliant history of the development of magic during the Renaissance. This is not superstitious hocus-pocus, but rather a serious theological and philosophical study of the rise of Hermetic thought which presages modern psychology and science of the brain. Professor Couliano was the world authority, and it is a bitter tragedy that he was lost to us so young. This book should be of interest to those interested in the history of science, since early scientific think ...more
Jun 16, 2014 Brian rated it liked it
Profound, if sometimes maddening for its sweeping generalizations, this book can be thought of as the bridge between hardcore scientific rationalists and mystics/magicians who understand the creative/generative power of storytelling, especially as it pertains to the manipulation of modern mass society through appeals to erotic desires and impulses. Would make a compelling reading in tandem with "Manufacturing Consent," by Chomsky/Herman, and "Propaganda," by Edward Bernays, because all three are ...more
Dec 23, 2012 Diana rated it really liked it
Shelves: italian, research
Very difficult, deeply interesting. I need to go straight back to the beginning and try agaain as I know I missed so much.
Jul 02, 2013 Jim rated it it was amazing
This was really good. Not only did I get a great insight into how much Renaissance magic owed to Greek philosophy but I got a great insight into where our modern culture really came from.
Jul 13, 2016 Michael rated it liked it
A challenging read, but the author makes a solid case about the current scientific worldview and the worldview of Renaissance magicians being related and that the current view point addresses some of the psychic needs addressed in the Renaissance, and neglects others.
Michael Matejka
Apr 07, 2016 Michael Matejka rated it liked it
It's humbling to confront how little I'm aware of what preoccupied the greatest minds of the Renaissance, and this is a mere introduction to the the thought of Ficino, Mirandola, and Bruno. A stern reminder of my own ignorance. Maybe someday I'll try to find a copy of their work in translation.
Dec 09, 2015 Bekka rated it really liked it
The author has an intensive knowledge of the topic. The book introduced me to new perspectives on Renaissance magic after having read a growing number of books on the subject and gave me new lines of inquiry to pursue.
Karla Jasso
Dec 28, 2015 Karla Jasso rated it liked it
Shelves: theory
Magic.... en línea con Lynn Thorndike
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“Melancholy, being a kind of vacatio, separation of soul from body, bestowed the gift of clairvoyance and premonition. In the classifications of the Middle Ages, melancholy was included among the seven forms of vacatio, along with sleep, fainting, and solitude. The state of vacatio is characterized by a labile link between soul and body which makes the soul more independent with regard to the sensible world and allows it to neglect its physical matrix in order, in some way, better to attend to its own business.” 7 likes
“Cei ce afirmă că omul Renașterii simțea, cugeta și acționa ca noi se înșeală enorm. Dimpotrivă, noi avem obiceiul de-acum multisecular de a refula în noi înșine tot ceea ce constituia imagine a lumii la omul Renașterii, până într-atât încât acesta se confundă cu „umbra” noastră, cu ceea ce învățat, prin educație, să extirpăm și să mutilăm din noi înșine. Adăpostim încă în noi un frate debil, din pricină că nu ne putem debarasa complet de el. Dacă el este caricatura noastră - de vreme ce acumulează într-însul trăsăturile noastre cele mai infantile și mai ridicole -, să încercăm pentru o clipă să ne punem în locul lui: firește, este foarte probabil ca el să nu aibă despre noi o imagine mai măgulitoare decât aceea pe care ne-o facem noi despre el. Dar orice comunicare este imposibilă, iar barierele de vârstă nu se ridică niciodată. De aceea, e mică speranța că într-o zi ne-am putea înțelege și strânge mâna. Dar e încă și mai redusă posibilitatea ca acest oaspete neliniștitor din profunzimile noastre să dispară vreodată.
În lipsa putinței de a ajunge la o înțelegere cordială, trebuie să învățăm a-l privi fără prea multă superioritate. Căci noi am pierdut ceea ce el avea, iar el nu are ceea ce noi am cucerit. Până la urmă, aceste cantități sunt egale. Dacă noi am realizat câteva dintre dorințele cele mai arzătoare ale imaginației sale, nu trebuie să uităm că am distrus tot pe-atâtea ș că acestea s-ar putea vădi irecuperabile.”
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