“Toward a Magical Enlightenment: Notes on Bruno’s Magic”

January 2, 2016


Vol. 2, No. 1 of Walking the Worlds: A Biannual Journal of Polytheism and Spiritwork is now available. This issue, with the theme of “Magic and Religion”, contains my article “Toward a Magical Enlightenment: Notes on Bruno’s Magic” (pp. 96-109). Here is the abstract:

This essay, which may be regarded as a companion to the general account of Bruno’s metaphysics presented in “Transformation and Individuation in Giordano Bruno’s Monadology” (SOCRATES 3.2, June 2015, pp. 57-70), discusses Bruno’s theory of magic primarily as presented in his essay De magia (1590), attempting to explicate it in light of the systematic tendencies in Bruno’s late thought, particularly his monadology and his enigmatic finitist mathematics, the mythopoetic presentation of which has vexed commentators. The fundamental role of bonding in Bruno’s theory of magic is seen to reflect the primary metaphysical significance of termini in his monadology, while the cosmological role of monads of diverse kinds as minima or measures of an otherwise infinite, acentric and hence incomprehensible universe corresponds to the role of the magical operator, who imparts form and value to the universe centered around her. Bruno’s monadology is also seen to guide his usage of the traditional term ‘spirit’ as an element essential to magic.


3 Responses to ““Toward a Magical Enlightenment: Notes on Bruno’s Magic””

  1. I’m subscribed to this and will look forward to reading your essay 🙂

    • Edward P. Butler said

      Thank you! I hope that the shipping costs to the U.K. aren’t too burdensome. With the exception of my articles for Walking the Worlds, which I keep exclusive to the journal (aside from cases of individual need, of course), virtually everything else I publish is available on this site, so please browse. Bruno is rather outside my normal ambit, which usually has me camped out in antiquity.

  2. Hi Dr. Butler!

    I am a master’s student right now in theological studies. I have interests in looking for a doctoral program where I can study (and develop) polytheist theology as well as contribute to inter-religious dialogue via comparative theology with polytheism.

    Galina recommended me to reach out to you, as you are deeply involved in academia and you are also writing articles and other pieces on polytheist theology. I have a few questions I’d like to ask you (and a second opinion on some comments I’ve received). If you ever have the time, I would really appreciate you contacting me at wyrdworkings at gmail dot com.

    In any case, thank you very much for your time and your work! I have quite a bit of reading to do!

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