Authored by: Richard Kieckhefer , David L. d’Avray , Bernd-Christian Otto , Claire Fanger

The Routledge History of Medieval Magic

Print publication date:  February  2019
Online publication date:  February  2019

Print ISBN: 9781472447302
eBook ISBN: 9781315613192
Adobe ISBN:


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The essays by David L. d’Avray and Bernd-Christian Otto are stimulating, insightful, deeply engaging reflections, pointing in opposite directions: D’Avray argues for using etic alongside emic terms, giving “magic” the clarity and precision of a Weberian ideal type so that it becomes a sharp analytic tool for both European history and cross-cultural study; Otto draws back from “second-order” or “third-order” terms and urges instead a “discourse historical” analysis that tracks and analyses language within historical texts. Claire Fanger and I come from different directions but reach concordant conclusions, both advocating flexible understandings of “magic” while allowing (in Fanger’s case) or urging (in mine) more technical use of alternative terms. I have questions for both d’Avray and Otto.

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