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By Michael Martin

All of the figures tested during this study-John Dee, John Donne, Sir Kenelm Digby, Henry and Thomas Vaughan, and Jane Lead-is enthusiastic about the ways that God may be approached or skilled. Michael Martin analyzes the ways that the stumble upon with God is figured between those early glossy writers who inhabit the shared cultural house of poets and preachers, mystics and scientists. the 3 major topics that tell this examine are Cura animarum, the care of souls, and the reduced position of non secular course in post-Reformation spiritual existence; the increase of medical rationality; and the fight opposed to the disappearance of the Holy. bobbing up from the tools and commitments of phenomenology, the first mode of inquiry of this examine is living in contemplation, no longer in a spiritual feel, yet within the realm of notion, attendance, and recognition. Martin portrays figures similar to Dee, Digby, and Thomas Vaughan no longer the eccentrics they can be depicted to were, yet really as partaking in a spiritual mainstream that were greatly altered by means of the disappearance of any type of obligatory or commonplace religious path, an issue which used to be extra advanced and exacerbated through the increase of technological know-how. therefore this examine contributes to a reconfiguration of our inspiration of what 'religious orthodoxy' quite intended in the course of the interval, and calls into query our personal assumptions approximately what's (or used to be) 'orthodox' and what 'heterodox.'

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32 However, the irony of the Doctor praying to God for intercessory angels who might aid him in his scientific work surely challenges such an understanding. Dee emphasizes prayer in the Actions, probably as a way to legitimize what he was doing—in his own eyes as well as in those of anyone who might get wind of what he was up to. He knew his activities with spirits placed him on the margins of both religious orthodoxy and secular law. Despite their descriptions of Dee’s method of prayer and religious orientation as “Protestant,” neither Harkness nor Clulee has anything to say about the very real idolatry—in an early modern Protestant sense—inherent in the Actions.

They are usually named De heptarchia mystica, Liber Logaeth, Book of Enoch, and 48 Claves angelicae. 6 Christopher I. Lehrich, The Occult Mind: Magic in Theory and Practice (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2007), 51. 7 Certeau, Mystic Fable, 155. Emphasis in Certeau. 8 Frances A. Yates, Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition (1964; repr. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1991), 149. 9 Meric Casaubon, preface to John Dee, A True and Faithful Relation… (1659), D4r. John Dee 23 his insatiable desire for knowledge: and these desires manifested in a singular type of religious experience.

Indeed, Peter French’s influential biography, John Dee: The World of an Elizabethan Magus (1973), and Benjamin Woolley’s more recent popular treatment, The Queen’s Conjurer (2001), unapologetically advertise their subject along these lines. Though this label may be convenient for scholars and booksellers, it proves ultimately unsatisfactory for describing Dee and the experiences he had with what he thought to be God’s messengers. It is clear from the writing that he has left us that Dee was “a devout Christian man”8 and believed himself to be sincere in his religion and full of piety.

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