John Dee's Occultism

Magical Exaltation through Powerful Signs

By Gyorgy E. Szonyi

Subjects: Intellectual History, History Of Philosophy, Esotericism And Gnosticism, Religion
Series: SUNY series in Western Esoteric Traditions
Paperback : 9780791462249, 380 pages, January 2010
Hardcover : 9780791462232, 380 pages, June 2005

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A comprehensive look at the life and work of one of the towering figures of Renaissance mysticism.


Delving into the life and work of John Dee, Renaissance mathematician and "conjurer to Queen Elizabeth," György E. Szo‹nyi presents an analysis of Renaissance occultism and its place in the chronology of European cultural history. Culling examples of "magical thinking" from classical, medieval, and Renaissance philosophers, Szo‹nyi revisits the body of Dee's own scientific and spiritual writings as reflective sources of traditional mysticism. Exploring the intellectual foundations of magic, Szo‹nyi focuses on the ideology of exaltatio, the glorification or deification of man. He argues that it was the desire for exaltatio that framed and tied together the otherwise varied thoughts and activities of John Dee as well.

György E. Szo‹nyi is Professor of English at the University of Szeged and of Intellectual History at the Central European University, Budapest. He is the author of two other books on John Dee.