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Arguing with Angels
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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.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright Page
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  1. Contents
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  1. List of Tables
  2. p. vii
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-8
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  1. Part One: Historical Perspectives
  2. p. 9
  1. Chapter 1: The Magus and the Seer
  2. pp. 11-28
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  1. Chapter 2: Whispers of Secret Manuscripts
  2. pp. 29-42
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  1. Chapter 3: Victorian Occultism and the Invention of Modern Enochiana
  2. pp. 43-68
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  1. Chapter 4: The Authenticity Problem and the Legitimacy of Magic
  2. pp. 69-82
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  1. Part Two: Major Trends in Enochian Magic
  2. p. 83
  1. Chapter 5: The Angels and the Beast
  2. pp. 85-101
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  1. Chapter 6: Angels of Satan
  2. pp. 103-123
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  1. Chapter 7: The Purist Turn
  2. pp. 125-142
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  1. Chapter 8: Enochiana without Borders
  2. pp. 143-158
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  1. Conclusions
  2. pp. 159-162
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  1. Appendix
  2. pp. 163-172
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 173-200
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 201-214
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 215-220
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  1. Back Cover
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