Summary and Info
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. “Arguing with Angels is a major contribution to the study of Western esotericism in general, and to the study of Enochiana in particular. It places the history and reception of the Enochian tradition within the broader context of Western esotericism, thereby making Enochiana relevant. Egil Asprem not only shows a thorough familiarity with relevant theories, but also relates to them critically and argues convincingly for his own interpretations and conclusions.” — Henrik Bogdan, author of Western Esotericism and Rituals of Initiation Egil Asprem is a Research Fellow at the Center for History of Hermetic Philosophy and Related Currents at the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
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