Appel à communication : « Magical Materials », RSA 2021, Dublin, date limite le 29 juillet 2020
Session du Congrès de la Renaissance Society of America – Dublin, 7-10 avril 2021
The theory of natural or astral magic is based on the belief that God emanates powers through the spheres of the planets and the fixed stars, down to earth, and into its matter. In Marsilio Ficino’s Three Books on Life and in the Picatrix, the word virtue—a term derived from the Latin word vis or power—is employed to describe the investment of celestial agency into terrestrial matter. This session seeks to examine the occult or secret virtues believed to be contained within materials and the use of these materials in image-based, natural, astral, and theurgic forms of magic.
A material’s spiritual potency could be enhanced through the use of inscriptions, symbols, rituals, suffumigations, and/or prayers. Moreover, illicit materials—including human body parts and fluids— could be wielded for maleficent forms of sorcery. This panel invites papers addressing magical materials in the early modern period. Topics might include celestial likenesses and talismans; petitions for love, fertility, or childbirth; perfumes and pharmacology; ritual performances; representations of magical practices; sympathetic resonances and the soul’s ascent; or the writings of Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa, Marsilio Ficino, the Picatrix, Hermes Trismegistus, or Iamblichus.
Please send a paper title, abstract (150 words max), a short CV, and A/V requirements to the session organizer Rebekah Compton. All presenters must register for the Annual Renaissance Society of America Meeting. The deadline for submission of materials to this panel is July 29, 2020.