Be sure and check this out tomorrow! It features our very own Dylan Burns and a number of other leading lights in our field discussing interesting stuff.
Wednesday 13 January, 7:00 pm – 8:15 pm CET (1pm-2:15pm EST)
Panel: Christian H. Bull, Dylan Burns, Sasson Chahanovich, Nils H.
Korsvoll, and Hanna Tervanotko, chaired by Hugo Lundhaug
Books, whether real or imaginary, served a critical role in the
esoteric arts of first millennium religious traditions. They upheld
mastery, extended and distributed memory, and established the
venerable roots of knowledge as ancient, astral, divine, or otherwise
extraordinary. Moreover, their ascribed authors — such as magicians,
alchemists, seers, and diviners — contributed to their claims to
power. So what role do books and the evocation of books play in the
quest for esoteric knowledge?
This panel will examine books (Jewish, Christian, Islamic, and any
combination thereof) as both sources of knowledge and efficacious
talismans in themselves. Topics may include the magical and
transformative power of the written word, the genres of esoteric
texts, and the roles of secrecy and inaccessibility — especially as
connected to women, who were often associated with the secret and the
arcane. Participants may also wrestle with the paradox of esoteric
access (if a secret is written plainly in a book, is it still a
secret?) and the ways that “books known only by title” bridged that
paradox, whether their esoteric contents were truly imaginary or
merely out of reach.