Sunday, June 17, 2018
Saturday, June 16, 2018
Paul Kleber Monod, Solomon's Secret Arts: The Occult in the Age of Enlightenment (New Haven & London: Yale U. Press, 2013) ("Perhaps the single most important point be derived from this discussion is that the occult was not killed off by science or the Enlightenment. On the contrary, it coexisted with them, borrowed from them and was rarely the object of attacks from scientific or enlightened writers. In turn, this suggests something about what can be called modernity--an ideologically charged concept, to be sure, but one that forces itself into any discussion of change over the past four centuries. Modernity is a prescriptive concept, not a descriptive one: it tells us what we should be, not necessarily what we are, or even what we have been in the past. To be modern has come to mean embracing the scientific revolution and the Enlightenment, while casting aside magic and 'superstition.' Yet this is not what many people did in late seventeenth- and eighteenth-century England or Scotland--on the contrary, they were able to retain both points of view, scientific and occult, atlas in some measure. In Scotland, to be sure, the Enlightenment did eventually shake off the occult, but that did not happen in England, or in Germany or France, for that matter. The Scottish case was exceptional, and can be ascribed to a century of determined Presbyterian denunciation of anything occult as diabolical. Id. at 346.).