First published 1958 Things have moved on since then, for example see Angela Voss work on Ficino Despite criticisms of Walker in Hanegraaff s edition of Lazzarelli, this still remains a brilliantly erudite work on a broad subject that encompasses magic, politics, philosophy and religion.
This book is an introductory study on Renaissance philosophy and magic focusing on Marsilio Ficino and his influence during the 15th through 17th centuries Ficino was a very interesting man who to me somewhat embodies the Renaissance scholar He was a Neo Platonist in philosophy, having translated many works in that vein, as well as influenced deeply by the Hermetic writers He was also deeply interested in Astrology and talismatic magic, all of which along with music form the basis of his magical philosophical system.
After getting the basis of his system described Walker then begins to show the influence Ficino s ideas had on other philosophers Of those influenced, Cornelius Agrippa and his Three books of Occult Philosophy are of the most I m no real fan of Ficino, so this book s focus left me cold Honestly, I enjoyed the footnotes than the text This book is an ongoing conversation about neoplatonism and magic which probably took place in the context of the Warburg Institute between Dame Yates and Walker, and many unacknowledged others A review published Mar 27, 2012 by Ayinyhvh sums up much of what I might say That review or another recommends the book be read under the guidance of a professor, which is not a luxury any book should afford A librarian echoed this, and much to my amazement suggested that someone up at Berkeley might take the time to explain it to me Instead I am pursuing another tangent of independent study read other books on the topic, and read works by the same author The early chapters of the book pertain to music and the magical uses of music They were independent articles gathered into the larger book ã Spiritual and Demonic Magic: From Ficino to Campanella ã In this landmark study, D.
P Walker of the Warburg Institute, single handedly initiated the etic, academic study of Western esotericism, by exploring the relationships between the philosophies and magical practices of Renaissance thinkers such as Marsilio Ficino 1433 1499 , Giovanni Pico della Mirandola 1463 1494 , Cornelius Agrippa 1486 1535 and Tommaso Campanella 1568 1639 Of primary interest to me was Walker s extensive mapping out of the theoretical foundations upon which Ficino s and all subsequent Hermetic magicians practices rested He manages to effectively chart the fluctuations between so called natural and demonic magic during the Renaissance and demonstrates how the resulting tensions owed far to external stressors i.
e the Church than to anything internal logic As an exploration of Renaissance magical theory, Walker s study has aged ex

Wonderful book, probably the best introduction to the subject I ve seen, although it was obviously written for those who are already familiar with the topic I read this after reading Yate s Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition , mainly because Yates cites this book throughout, and that was sufficient background for me to understand the arguments herein This book confirmed my interest in Ficino and lead me to discover Campanella who will obviously merit study.
Beyond the intrinsic interest for understanding Renaissance thought, is neoplatonic magic relevant from a philosophical or practical point if view Well, for us scholars who, according to Ficino, suffer from melacholy, Ficino gives detailed advice on diet and regime For nourishing and purify While the book is indeed a classic and fills in a vital gap in the field, I would not call it an introductory book, especially if you have a weak Renaissance background Prior to picking up this volume, it would probably benefit the reader to consult an encyclopedia article on Medieval and Renaissance magic, how they thought it worked, and to do some light background reading on the major magicians, especially the ones he discusses It is also a book best read under the guidance of a professor or specialist in the field as it raises a lot of enticing and deep questions my head is still reeling It is helpful if you read Latin, French, Greek, and Italian in order to get the full content of the book without Latin, kiss your comprehension of the footnotes goodbye I thoroughly enjoyed this Not a light read in terms of subject matter though by no means obscurely written or difficult but one can see why this has the status of a classic amongst Renaissance scholars Shows its age in the assumption that the reader has at least a reading knowledge of Latin and French but in little else Delightful.
Like his colleague Frances Yates, Walker writes about Renaissance magic with great clarity, making the esoteric topic accessible to non specialist readers I had to pay close attention, but I enjoyed the read immensely.
Published By The Warburg Institute In , This Book Is Considered A Landmark In Renaissance Studies Whereas Most Scholars Had Tended To View Magic As A Marginal Subject, Walker Showed That Magic Was One Of The Most Typical Creations Of The Late Fifteenth And Sixteenth Centuries Walker Takes Readers Through The Magical Concerns Of Some Of The Greatest Thinkers Of The Renaissance, From Marsilio Ficino, Giovanni Pico Della Mirandola, And Jacques [D.
Walker] ✓ Spiritual and Demonic Magic: From Ficino to Campanella [world-war-i PDF] read Online ô Lefevre D Etaples To Jean Bodin, Francis Bacon, And Tommaso Campanella Ultimately He Demonstrates That Magic Was Interconnected With Religion, Music, And Medicine, All Of Which Were Central To The Renaissance Notion Of Spiritus Remarkable For Its Clarity Of Writing, This Book Is Still Considered Essential Reading For Students Seeking To Understand The Assumptions, Beliefs, And Convictions That Informed The Thinking Of The Renaissance This Edition Features A New Introduction By Brian Copenhaver, One Of Our Leading Experts On The Place Of Magic In Intellectual History DP Walker Was Trained At Oxford And Spent Most Of His Career At The Warburg Institute Of The University Of London His Other books Are The Decline Of Hell Warburg The Ancient Theology Duckworth And Unclean Spirits Possession And Exorcism In France And England In The Late Sixteenth And Early Seventeenth Centuries Scolar,

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