Visiting Lectures on Magic in Religious Studies and in the Western Intellectual History | School of Theology and Religious Studies of the University of Tartu

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  • Dean's Office
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    J. Liivi 2, 50409 Tartu
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Other Units
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  • View all other units

Contacts of UT units

Faculty of Arts and Humanities
Faculty phone: 
+372 737 5341
Faculty address: 
Jakobi 2, rooms 116–121, 51005 Tartu
  • Dean's Office
    Faculty phone: 
    + 372 737 5341
    Faculty address: 
    Jakobi 2, rooms 116–121, 51005 Tartu
  • Institute of History and Archaeology
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5651
    Faculty address: 
    Jakobi 2, 51005 Tartu
  • Institute of Estonian and General Linguistics
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5221
    Faculty address: 
    Jakobi 2, 51005 Tartu
  • Institute of Philosophy and Semiotics
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5314
    Faculty address: 
    Jakobi 2, rooms 309–352, 51005 Tartu
  • Institute of Cultural Research
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5223
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 16, 51003 Tartu
  • School of Theology and Religious Studies
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5301
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18–310, 50090 Tartu
  • College of Foreign Languages and Cultures
    Faculty address: 
    Lossi 3, 51003 Tartu
  • Viljandi Culture Academy
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 435 5232
    Faculty address: 
    Posti 1, 71004 Viljandi
Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty phone: 
+372 737 5957
Faculty address: 
Lossi 36, 51003 Tartu
  • Dean's Office
    Faculty phone: 
    + 372 737 5900
    Faculty address: 
    Lossi 36, 51003 Tartu
  • Institute of Education
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 6440
    Faculty address: 
    Salme 1a–29, 50103 Tartu
  • Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5582
    Faculty address: 
    Lossi 36–301, 51003 Tartu
  • School of Economics and Business Administration
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 6310
    Faculty address: 
    J. Liivi 4, 50409 Tartu
  • Institute of Psychology
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5902
    Faculty address: 
    Näituse 2, 50409 Tartu
  • School of Law
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5390
    Faculty address: 
    Näituse 20–324, 50409 Tartu
  • Institute of Social Studies
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5188
    Faculty address: 
    Lossi 36, 51003 Tartu
  • Narva College
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 740 1900
    Faculty address: 
    Raekoja plats 2, 20307 Narva
  • Pärnu College
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 445 0520
    Faculty address: 
    Ringi 35, 80012 Pärnu
Faculty of Medicine
Faculty phone: 
+372 737 5326
Faculty address: 
Ravila 19, 50411 Tartu
  • Dean's Office
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5326
    Faculty address: 
    Ravila 19, 50411 Tartu
  • Institute of Biomedicine and Translational Medicine
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 4210
    Faculty address: 
    Biomeedikum, Ravila 19, 50411 Tartu
  • Institute of Pharmacy
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5286
    Faculty address: 
    Nooruse 1, 50411 Tartu
  • Institute of Dentistry
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 731 9856
    Faculty address: 
    Raekoja plats 6, 51003 Tartu
  • Institute of Clinical Medicine
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5323
    Faculty address: 
    L. Puusepa 8, 50406 Tartu
  • Institute of Family Medicine and Public Health
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 4190
    Faculty address: 
    Ravila 19, 50411 Tartu
  • Institute of Sport Sciences and Physiotherapy
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5360
    Faculty address: 
    Jakobi 5–205, 51005 Tartu
Faculty of Science and Technology
Faculty phone: 
+372 737 5820
Faculty address: 
Vanemuise 46–208, 51014 Tartu
  • Dean's Office
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5820
    Faculty address: 
    Vanemuise 46–208, 51005 Tartu
  • Institute of Computer Science
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5445
    Faculty address: 
    J. Liivi 2, 50409 Tartu
  • Estonian Marine Institute
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 671 8902
    Faculty address: 
    Mäealuse 14, 12618 Tallinn
  • Institute of Physics
    Faculty address: 
    W. Ostwaldi 1, 50411 Tartu
  • Institute of Chemistry
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5261
    Faculty address: 
    Ravila 14a, 50411 Tartu
  • Institute of Mathematics and Statistics
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5860
    Faculty address: 
    J. Liivi 2, 50409 Tartu
  • Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5011
    Faculty address: 
    Riia 23, 23b–134, 51010 Tartu
  • Tartu Observatory
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 4510
    Faculty address: 
    Observatooriumi 1, Tõravere, 61602 Tartumaa
  • Institute of Technology
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 4800
    Faculty address: 
    Nooruse 1, 50411 Tartu
  • Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5835
    Faculty address: 
    Vanemuise 46, 51003 Tartu
Institutions
  • Library
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5702
    Faculty address: 
    W. Struve 1, 50091 Tartu
  • Youth Academy
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5581
    Faculty address: 
    Uppsala 10, 51003 Tartu
  • Institute of Genomics
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 4000
    Faculty address: 
    Riia 23b, 51010 Tartu
  • Museum
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5674
    Faculty address: 
    Lossi 25, 51003 Tartu
  • University of Tartu Natural History Museum and Botanical Garden
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 6076
    Faculty address: 
    Vanemuise 46, 51003 Tartu
Support Units
  • Administrative Office
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5606
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18a, 51005 Tartu
  • Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 6339
    Faculty address: 
    Lossi 3, III floor, 51003 Tartu
  • University Office in Tallinn
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 6600
    Faculty address: 
    Teatri väljak 3, 10143 Tallinn
  • Estates Office
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5137
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18a, 51005 Tartu
  • Finance Office
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5125
    Faculty address: 
    Jakobi 4, 51005 Tartu
  • Grant Office
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 6215
    Faculty address: 
    Lossi 3, III floor, 51003 Tartu
  • Information Technology Office
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 6000, IT-help: +372 737 5500
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18a, 51005 Tartu
  • Human Resources Office
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5145
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18, rooms 302 and 304, 50090 Tartu
  • Internal Audit Office
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 17–103, 51005 Tartu
  • Marketing and Communication Office
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5687
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18, rooms 102, 104, 209, 210, 50090 Tartu
  • Office of Academic Affairs
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5620
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18, 50090 Tartu
  • Procurement Office
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 6632
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18a, 51005 Tartu
  • Rector's Strategy Office
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5600
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18, 50090 Tartu
  • Student Council
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5400
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18b, 51005 Tartu
  • University of Tartu Press
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5945
    Faculty address: 
    W. Struve 1, 50091 Tartu
Other Units
  • University of Tartu Academic Sports Club
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5371
    Faculty address: 
    Ujula 4, 51008 Tartu
  • Tartu Student Village
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 740 9959
    Faculty address: 
    Narva mnt 25, 51013 Tartu
  • Tartu Students’ Club
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 730 2400
    Faculty address: 
    Kalevi 24, 51010 Tartu
  • Tartu University Hospital
    Faculty address: 
    L. Puusepa 1a, 50406 Tartu
  • University of Tartu Foundation
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5852
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18, 50090 Tartu
  • View all other units

Visiting Lectures on Magic in Religious Studies and in the Western Intellectual History

In cooperation with the Graduate School of Culture Studies and Arts, Bernd-Christian Otto, one of the leading experts on magic in Western religious and intellectual history, a fellow at the Käte Hamburger Kolleg, Bochum University, and an associated fellow at the Max Weber Centre for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies, Erfurt University will hold three guest lectures on magic at the University of Tartu from March 20 to March 22, 2019.

Everybody is invited!

Dates and the location:

20.03.2019 – 16:15-17:45 at Ülikooli 18-228: ‘Western learned magic’ in a nutshell: the Leipzig collection of codices magici (Cod. Mag.)

21.03.2019 – 16:15-17:45 at Ülikooli 18-228: Mapping Modern Magic(k)

22.03.2019 – 12:00-13:30 at Ülikooli 18-228: Building blocks of a new cultural theory of magic

Detailed descriptions of the lectures can be found below:

 

‘Western learned magic’ in a nutshell: the Leipzig collection of codices magici (Cod. Mag.)

20.03.2019 – 16:15-17:45 at Ülikooli 18-228

The university library of Leipzig hosts one of the most extensive and complete early modern collections of hand-written manuscripts of ‘Western learned magic’. The collection was sold in 1710 for an extraordinary price, and both the selling catalogue entitled ‘catalogus rariorum manuscriptorum’ as well as 134 (of 140) manuscripts have survived. The collection is unique in several ways: with numerous texts going back to late antiquity and the Middle Ages, as well as early modern adaptations and innovations, the collection attests both the longue-durée nature of the textual-ritual tradition of ‘Western learned magic’ as well as its striking adaptability and changeability. With over hundred texts translated into German, it attests processes of vernacularising texts and techniques of ‘learned magic’ in German-speaking Europe that happened significantly earlier than assumed thus far. With over 65 % of the texts devoted to the Solomonic art of conjuring spirits, the collection provides a unique window into ritual knowledge that was highly contested and illegal at the time, and at the same time demonstrates that this knowledge was much more elaborate and versatile in the 17th and 18th centuries than assumed thus far. After an introduction into the concept and tradition of ‘Western learned magic’, the lecture provides an overview over the history and contents of the Leipzig Cod. Mag. collection.

 

Mapping Modern Magic(k)

21.03.2019 – 16:15-17:45 at Ülikooli 18-228

At this very moment, a global discourse of contemporaneous self-proclaimed ‘magicians’ is flourishing more or less below the radar of the scholarly community and media awareness. These self-proclaimed ‘magicians’ (which may today amount to roughly one million) practice a ritual art usually denoted as ‘magick’ and bear witness to their experiences by means of a large variety of publication activities. The lecture will present findings from a cooperative research project entitled ‘Mapping Modern Magic(k)’ (with Prof. Egil Asprem, Stockholm, and Prof. Marco Pasi, Amsterdam, as co-researchers) that strives to systematically map and analyse the internal structures and networks, the formation of groups and schools, the self-perceptions and experience reports, and the conceptual and ritual dynamics of this discourse. The project is ambitious and challenging insofar as the said discourse is inherently global and transcultural as well as extremely heterogenous. One of the main goals of the project is to develop an analytical matrix that helps to map and organise the manifold material; this matrix will be presented and discussed during the lecture. Finally, a range of explanations will be provided regarding the (unexpected?) persistence, innovativity and popularity of ‘magick’ in the (post-)modern West.

 

Building blocks of a new cultural theory of magic

22.03.2019 – 12:00-13:30 at Ülikooli 18-228

Whereas ‘Western learned magic’ as well as ‘magick’ could be considered signifiers that refer to a specific (Western) type of religious data on the object level, the third lecture will adopt a more theoretical perspective and ponder whether ‘magic’ could be re-established as an analytical term of cross-cultural and diachronic scope. Of course, we do not want to relapse into out-dated essentialist or Eurocentric definitions, join in the chatter about so-called ‘heuristic’ (but ultimately meaningless) categories, or rely on the vagueness and arbitrariness of everyday language. Against the backdrop of these obstacles, the lecture suggests a methodological pathway that allows for conceptualising ‘magic’ as a comparative category that can be applied to any religious data, independent of its timely, geographical, or cultural contexts. Taking ‘magic’s’ Western history as an analytical starting point (which is the only plausible way to do it), the magic word is ‘conceptual reverse-engineering’: thereby, ‘magic’ is chopped into smaller bits and pieces that may be allocated to three basic domains – the (A) conceptual-intellectual, the (B) discursive, and the (C) ritual domain. The items that we find in these domains – for instance: (A1) ‘ritual’, (A2) ‘power’, (A3) ‘miracle’, and (A4) ‘wish-fulfilment’ in the domain of concepts and ideas – can then be used as tertia comparationis in a comparative framework. Exemplary findings show that this procedure may lead to more nuanced analyses of various ‘same same but different’ phenomena on the object level, but it also raises the question whether – and how – apparent similarities across different times and spaces can be explained. As this is ultimately a theoretical question, the lecture concludes with tentative suggestions of how the suggested methodological procedure may provide building blocks of a new cultural theory of ‘magic’. 

 

Bernd-Christian Otto received his PhD (2009, Heidelberg) and his Habilitation (2017, Erfurt) in the Study of Religion. He is currently Fellow at the Käte Hamburger Kolleg, Bochum University, and an associated fellow at the Max Weber Centre for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies, Erfurt University. His research focuses on the history of magic, where he combines different methodologies such as conceptual history, discourse analysis, social theory, and ritual studies. His book publications include Magie. Rezeptions- und diskursgeschichtliche Analysen von der Antike bis zur Neuzeit (de Gruyter 2011), Defining Magic: A Reader (ed. with Michael Stausberg, Routledge 2013), Magical Manuscripts in Early Modern Europe: The Clandestine Trade in Illegal Book Collections (co-authored with Daniel Bellingradt, Palgrave MacMillan 2017), and Religious Individualisation: Historical Dimensions and Comparative Perspectives (ed. with Jörg Rüpke et al., De Gruyter 2019). He is also interested in methods and theories regarding the historicisation of religion, in the problem of religious experience, and in the history of the Study of Religions. He is a board member of the European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism.

Homepage: https://www.uni-erfurt.de/de/max-weber-kolleg/personen/bernd-otto/

These events have been financed by the University of Tartu ASTRA Project PER ASPERA (European Regional Development Fund).

 

 

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