Magic and Intellectual History

Event Date: 
05 Mar 2014

CREMS, University of York

A day symposium – Keynote speaker: Dr Stephen Clucas (Birkbeck)


This symposium will explore the place of magic in the intellectual culture of early modern England and Europe. It will focus on how magic was perceived and understood in philosophical, religious and scientific thought, and the ambivalence that surrounded it as topics of scholarship. 


Papers might attend to the following:

  • How did early modern thought accommodate magic into its disciplines?
  • Why was magic the object of so much elite scientific and philosophical thought?
  • Magic and the study of nature
  • Magic and the ineffable
  • Redefining the parameters of magic
  • Magic and religion
  • The occult and hidden operations of nature
  • Scepticism and magical thought
  • Magic and language / magic and metaphor
  • Literature and the portrayal of magic
  • Magic and the devil
  • Magicians and their day-jobs.


Call for Papers: Abstracts by 15th October (c. 250 words)

Contact: Kevin Killeen,


This symposium is part of a diffuse and ongoing Thomas Browne Seminar that has digressed quite far:



Submission date for papers: 
15 Oct 2014