Mark A. Waddell, "Magic, Science, and Religion in Early Modern Europe" (Cambridge UP, 2021)

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Today on New Books in History, Mark A. Waddell, Associate professor of History, Philosophy & Sociology of Science in the Department of History at Michigan State University in beautiful East Lansing Michigan, talks about his recent book, Magic, Science, and Religion in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge University Press, 2021).

From the recovery of ancient ritual magic at the height of the Renaissance to the ignominious demise of alchemy at the dawn of the Enlightenment, Mark A. Waddell explores the rich and complex ways that premodern people made sense of their world. He describes a time when witches flew through the dark of night to feast on the flesh of unbaptized infants, magicians conversed with angels or struck pacts with demons, and astrologers cast the horoscopes of royalty. Ground-breaking discoveries changed the way that people understood the universe while, in laboratories and coffee houses, philosophers discussed how to reconcile the scientific method with the veneration of God. This engaging, illustrated new study introduces readers to the vibrant history behind the emergence of the modern world.

Jana Byars is the Academic Director of Netherlands: International Perspectives on Sexuality and Gender.

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