- Prefatory Note from the General Editors
Magic, Ritual, and Witchcraft was founded exactly a decade ago, in 2006. Up to this point, issues have come out twice yearly. From the outset, the primary concern of the editors has been keeping standards high, and we have published only the best of our received submissions. Lately, however, so much of the incoming material has been high quality work of major interest that we have found ourselves wanting more space to put it in. Thus, we take great satisfaction in announcing that this issue opens the journal's first triannual year.
Guest editors Elizabeth Sartell and Shandra Lamaute have assembled this first issue of 2017, Characterizing Astrology in the Pre-Modern Islamic World, gathering up important new work on Islamic astrology in the medieval and early modern periods. Astrology proves a fruitful line of focus because it is just as firmly embedded in scientific and technological disciplines as it is in religious and esoteric ones. The articles collected here explore different aspects of an important nexus of intercultural and interreligious connection, showing in different ways how knowledge is formed and spread by a multiplicity of cultural processes.
In future issues, we look forward to a more vigorous collaboration with partners in academic fields and areas that look beyond the history of Europe, engaging with Africa, Asia, and the Americas. Over the past year, as part of our move toward greater inclusion of non-European regions, we have invited a number of new scholars onto our editorial board to enrich the resources of our expertise. Next on the agenda is a special issue edited by Raquel Romberg, The Magic of Shimmering Materials, which gathers ethnographic case studies in the uses of shimmering, reflective, and glittering material in ritual. In progress, too, are more special issues with ethnographic contributions, including one devoted to shrines and altars that "do," and another to the weaving of traditions in tantra, magic, and folk religion.
Even as we look forward to the production of more special issues, we continue to invite individual article submissions on all areas of the journal's scope. If we cannot publish such work quite as quickly as we once did, we [End Page 1] hope to showcase it in issues with deeper and richer content that increases our attention to submissions that make multiple disciplinary connections and that seeks links between popular and intellectual perceptions, as well as between textual and material cultures. We hope you will enjoy this issue, and those that follow, as much we enjoyed putting them together. [End Page 2]