Civilizations of the Supernatural: A New Book Edited by Professor Fabrizio Conti

JCU History professor Fabrizio Conti has edited a book titled Civilizations of the Supernatural: Witchcraft, Ritual, and Religious Experience in Late Antique, Medieval, and Renaissance Traditions, published in November 2020 by Trivent Publishing, Budapest.

Civilizations of the Supernatural, edited by Fabrizio Conti

Civilizations of the Supernatural, edited by Fabrizio Conti

The volume, which includes a foreword by Teofilo F. Ruiz, features thirteen scholars of late-antique, medieval, and Renaissance traditions who discuss magic, religious experience, ritual, and witch-beliefs with the aim of reflecting on the relationship between humanity and the supernatural. The content of the volume is very diverse and includes: late antique traditions covering erotic love magic, Hellenistic-Egyptian astrology, apotropaic rituals, early Christian amulets, and astrological amulets; medieval traditions focusing on the relationships between magic and disbelief, pagan magic and Christian culture, as well as witchcraft and magic in Britain, Scandinavian sympathetic graphophagy (the practice of eating texts), superstition in sermon literature; and finally Renaissance traditions revolving around Agrippan magic, witchcraft in Shakespeare’s Macbeth, and a Biblical toponym related to the Friulan Benandanti’s (“good walkers”) visionary experiences. These ways eventually contributed to shaping the civilizations of the supernatural or those peculiar patterns that have helped people look at themselves through the mirror of their own amazement of being in this world.

Professor Conti’s volume is published by Trivent’s Advances in the History of Magic, Witchcraft, and Religion Series of which he is the General Editor. The Editorial Board of the Series includes Michael Bailey (Iowa State University), Matthew Champion (Australian Catholic University), Georg Modestin (University of Fribourg), Marina Montesano (Università degli Studi di Messina), Elizabeth Ann Pollard (San Diego State University), Teofilo F. Ruiz (University of California, Los Angeles), and Joseph E. Sanzo (Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia).

Professor Conti is also the author of the monograph Witchcraft, Superstition, and Observant Franciscan Preachers: Pastoral Approach and Intellectual Debate in Renaissance Milan (Brepols, 2015).

In Spring 2021, Professor Fabrizio Conti will be teaching The Italian Renaissance and Europe Before Nations: From the First Crusade to 1453. He was also invited to teach in the summer school “Power on Stage: Politics, Religion and Arts in Rome” to be held at the LUISS School of Government (7-25 June 2021). He will teach the module “Politics and Culture in Renaissance Rome.

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