Pre-Modern Seminar No 16: Jason Van Boom
On Monday October 22nd at 18.15 at the library of Skandinavistika
Jason Van Boom: "Textual Sources for the Study of Medieval and Early Modern Magic”
The seminar will take place in the library of Skandinavistika (Ülikooli 17) at 18.15.
Wine, bread, fruit, cheese and ham will be served.
A short presentation of the lecture:
"This talk discusses the use of textual sources in the study of medieval and early modern magic (1100-1650). Like other historical disciplines, the history of magic relies heavily on texts. When studying medieval and early modern magic, however, the historian uses two kinds of texts: texts about magic, and texts that were intended as tools for magical practices. The former category is extremely diverse with respect to content and ideological perspective. This category includes academic, legal, polemical, and popular texts. Academic and polemical texts themselves fall into different categories, mostly juridical, theological, and philosophical. Their authors come form a spectrum of learned opinion about magic, ranging from complete opposition to ardent defence. Grimoires and other magical texts comprise a distinct category. They address a limited audience (practitioners of magic) and are intended to be experimental handbooks rather than speculative treatises. Consequently, they pose some special epistemological problems. The talk will discuss four texts as primary examples: the De Mineralibus of Albertus Magnus, the Malleus Maleficarum of Heinrich Kramer and James Sprenger, the De Occulta Philosophia of Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa, and a 15th century German necromantic manual (Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, MS Clm 849) published by Prof. Richard Kieckhefer."
Jason Cronbach Van Boom is a doctoral student in history at Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, California. He is writing his dissertation on conceptions of gender and power in learned texts on magic from 1400 to 1600. He is also director of Nicholas of Cusa Institute (NOCI), a think tank addressing cultural aspects of European integration. He emigrated from the United States to Europe in May 2012, and currently resides in Tartu.