ennui is for suckers (t3dy) wrote,
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t3dy

older Pico+Theurgy tweets


for Tweets from 2009-Spring2010 see http://t3dy.livejournal.com/1687007.html#cutid1

Craven says Heptaplus is not kabbalistic just allegorical, but Black argues Pico takes more jewish hermeneutic stance, shows influences
Craven vs. Frances Yates in Pico-Symbol of His Age: "No hint of theurgy" should be read into Pico, who's not gnostic pantheist or emanatist
Pico an interesting case study in occult psychology of motivation: exhortation to philosophy aims to inspire mystic/theurgic contemplations
Did Pico see theurgic/ecstatic uses of the sefirot in Abulafian or Zoharic mode? Did he see magical uses of Proclan hierarchy? Or just relig
Coughlin explains Dionysius on "becoming theurgic" which may be a good way to understand Pico's operative contemplation and transformation
Angel mention in Being -- gets more attention in Heptaplus. we have seen PD's theurgic angel, Pico not talking as much about illum. but MP

Idel argues that Christian users of the Kabbalah applied it toward speculation not theurgy or ecstasy
Dionysius uses the term "theurgy" 48 times.
PD+theurgy may help explain Pico's interest in magic+KBL but it also explains why Pico doesn't need magic+KBL for theology of Heptaplu+BU
Recent scholarship on theurgy has gone very far in explaining philosophical and religious content, debunking pejorative magical readings
theurgy of Kabbalists was once seen as a problematic magical/heretical/anti-philosophical and thus irrational/superstitious side of Judaism
Theurgy has been misread chiefly because metaphysics behind it have been disregarded. Pico should be rehabilitated like NP+KBList theurgists

I don't think we should apply theurgy to Pico without cautionary tour thru scholarly differences on NP+KBL-ist theurgy. so many options, mis
Theurgy is an important topic in the study of neoplatonism as well as kabbalah.Interest has increased recently,critical steps have been made
I worry that soon we'll need a theoretical movement against labeling things theurgy, just as the term gnosticism has be reconsidered
Pseudo-Dionysian as well as Iamblichean theology has contempt for the sort of magic scholars like Dodds+Dillon associate w/ "theurgy"
Idel seems to speak of "magic" as a distinguishable + acceptable religious modality present in KBL, rather than opposed to religion per se
If Pico understood the "theurgy" of PD, perhaps this led to him really recognizing something theologically essential in KBL+NP,etc. religion
Copenhaver underscores philosophical seriousness of Proclan magic theory to explain Pico's serious theological interest in magic+theurgy
Dodds thought Proclan hierarchical developments "unfortunate" + theurgy irrational magic, but since then "systematic considerations" emerged

Theurgy may help us understand the "operative" religious dynamics behind Pico's dry metaphysical texts as poetic theologizing
Apparently none of exciting discoveries made in spooky magic+theurgy are essential for Pico's high metaphysical theologizing. KBLreduced 2PD
Pico's reception of KBL deserves philosophical attention--encounter with strange theurgy +correlation with metaphysical science of theology.
study of PD advances our understanding of Pico's neoplatonism, which could use study sep. from magic, +probly deserves more phil. attention


Theurgy provides an excellent opportunity for discussing the themes of Dionysius that are relevant to Pico, particularly as KBL interpreter.
Angels are theurgic because they are the highest and most prolific players in CH, hierarchy does divine works of Christ, makes man theurgic.
Theurgy probably best term for finding solution to problem of Pico's magic but ironically understood as nonmagical Iamblichus to Dionysius
some scholars trace theurgy to sources of Plotinus' inner ritual important to understand antignostic context of his theoria mystery metaphor
Iamblichus according to Jan Assman really does report same Egyptian theological-theurgical wisdom that's also key to Christian mysteries.
Pico Reuchlin and Dee aren't interesting to me as bending philosophy to corrupt magical purposes but deep insightful readers of neoplatonism
P, R+D: theology/theurgy of # to new heights in renaissance+kblist modes innovating on xtianNPtradition, applied to religious needs/problems
important to emphasize that Pico applied myth+magic to renaissance religious practical devotional needs, to his mind sanitized as phil.theol

Any theurgy discovered by Pico should not be confused with something he doesn't base primarily on his own Dionysian pre-understanding.
Pico brings Thomas Aquinas' good attitude on philosophy, Aristotle to platonic theology of angel mind. this is more important than theurgy


Naomi Janowitz paper on Dionysius and Icons of Power on theurgy might be helpful place to look for theoretical models for Pico's magic if th


Copenhaver:Pico doesn't cite Iamblichus but his theurgy is like later NP. I think if this is true it is b/c Dionysius' theurgy's lateNPstyle
Iamblichus explicitly defined theurgy as a third religious modality alongside philosophy and theology, deserving its own kind of explanation
Dionysius' post-Proclan Neoplatonic Metaphysics have long been understood as an influence+terminological presence, but theurgy long misread.
does Pico's interest in alternative modes of signification from Kabbalah have some basis in semiotics of Dionysius? compatible?
Hard to tell if Pico leaves out parts of PD connection or just assuming they're understood already. not full CH as passing down illumination
To understand Dionysius' metaphor of becoming like angel we need to see what he thinks angels are. For Pico, Thomas on angel being/knowlegde
CH3 Pico uses metaphor of becoming like angels: we must understand what he thinks they are like. O+H do MP assuming kn. of Dionysius+Aquinas
I will focus on theurgy because it is the Dionysian theme that most impacts understanding of the function of angels who illuminate+theurgize
Dionysian themes in Pico I won't treat in detail: initiatory secrecy, hermeneutics, liturgical and symbol theory (may be influence on magic)
Iamblichean and Proclan "angels" do not play the same role in hierarchy of Dionysius--his henad-angels do theurgy for Christ--monotheistgods
Dionysian theurgy as "third option" for Pico theurgy if we can't decide between Iamblichean and Kabbalistic theurgy: his angel does, they no

Janowitz useful for semiotics of theurgic symbol as "icon of power," logic of "nonreferential" in PD, KBL+NP have mystic semiotics in common
PD+Theurgy: Wear Struck Burns Coughlin NP Theurgy: Dillon Shaw Majercik Sheppard Athanassiadi Janowitz van den Berg KBL: Idel Wolfson Brody


Pico's magic was victim to anti-naturaltheology stance of Church not anti-Dionysian theurgy views. He's not read correctly as shocking magus
Pico only needs magic as adjunct to natural philosophy and natural theology. Angelizing belongs to mysticism, based on MP/higher theology.
Yates thought Pico magic was "tapping" supercelestial powers, conjuring angels, but he builds off ways for T+PD already Tap/Conj no need4mag
Michael Allen has studied the Platonic Theology of Ficino, tracing Neoplatonic sources in many books, F's PD,reads Pico as still neoplatonic
In his many articles Copenhaver has made a case for philosophical seriousness of Renaissance magic by showing neoplatonic + scholastic roots
theurgy will be discussed as useful theme for approaching Pico in comparison to Neoplatonic, but I don't think it's an alt.religious mode 4P
Reading of Pico's magic and kabbalah as (NP or KBList) theurgy have been attempted, but none that approach from context of Dionysian theurgy
Pico emphasizes man's intellectual imperfection in BU carrying thread thru texts, for ex.uses Iamblichus in Heptaplus on need for divine aid
Pico argues based on relative simplicity and unity of angel: cognitions, firstness, hierarchy position, power, substance, vs. man's lim-imp.
Pico on Iamblichus in Being/One: duality of prime matter only due to imperfection of multiples solves Plotinian horror at matter's weirdness
Dionysius is seen by Pico as "glory of theology" so since Proclus close to PD, NP theology has serious philosophical appeal as well as force
If man is to become angel need to find out what it is about angels that we take on or emulate. CH2 will discuss Pico's MP angelology CH3 God
Pico doesn't use Iamblichus as a magical but rather as a theological authority citing him on difficult metaphysical points not theurgic ones
Pico not using Dionysius to respond to objections as in Thomas, but to show how Genesis, KBL or his own MP conforms to Christian truth
model of Thomas's angel treatises for Heptaplus should not be overlooked, as well as importation of content.
Heptaplus not just laying out cosmicMP but try at how to use allegory for living faith purposes. remaining exuberantly pious despite density
important to emphasize that Pico applied myth+magic to renaissance religious practical devotional needs, to his mind sanitized as phil.theol
P, R+D: theology/theurgy of # to new heights in renaissance+kblist modes innovating on xtianNPtradition, applied to religious needs/problems

Recent scholarship on Dionysius and Neoplatonic tradition/theurgy can illuminate philosophical reasons behind Pico's delving/dabbling in NP.
Rather than detail on late neoplatonic theurgy (Shaw, Sheppard) I will discuss recent studies on Dionysian theurgy (Burns, Coughlin, Struck)
Since Pico does not find any sorcery in Dionysian theurgy, if it is decided that Pico picks up magic, he doesn't get it from Dionysius
I'm looking at theurgy b/c Copenhaver and others recently used it to describe Pico, but also because activity of Dionysian angel is theurgic
If theurgy for Dionysius is imitating the angels and Pico wants to imitate the angels, seems like Pico is doing theurgy. (I was resisting)
Pico’s texts might be read as Dionysian style theurgic hymn/prayers rather than magical talismans
Pico shares with Aquinas Aristotelian reading of neoplatonic concepts like participation, angelic substance, emanation, diffusion of Good
Pico's grounding in Aquinas can help us understand how he does Aristotelian-Dionysian mysticism. Aquinas admits some theurgic PD elements?
Pico's understanding of theurgy is not as some magical modality different from theology. Cosmic sympathy, henosis, ascent, perfection, toGod
Pico recognizes what we'd call the "theurgic" aspect of kabbalah, something like what Idel and Wolfson characterize as theurgy, without term
Copenhaver emphasizes theurgy as explanatory term for Pico but does not go into theurgy of Dionysius. Pico may have known the greek term.
Pico is key to Christian Theurgy and Renaissance reading of greek+hebrew myths as theological-metaphysical allegory--last great Summa of it.
contemporary theurgy can appreciate Pico as theory of operative theurgic philosophizing, theologizing with numbers, weird cabalistangelmagic
Pico for contemporary theurgists: whatever Pico felt was safe magic, or scholars interpret as his correct mystic, we are free to use his CBL
I will not add to Pico’s magic or theurgy as rel.modes, but step back and examine Pico’s use of Dionysian metaphysics and theological style.
four stages of spiritual ascent correspond to four levels or functions of the soul
Pico was not satisfied with his own poetry, but wrote brilliant and beautiful poetic theology, managing to weave and synthesize MP+practical
I refer my readers needing further explanation to Copenhaver on Kabbalah, Allen on Platonism, Idel on Jewish sources, Black on hermeneutics.
Dionysian theurgy may help understand how Pico was neither disengenuous nor sorcerous: he saw in magic and kabbalah Dionysian mystical arts.
Dionysian sympathy builds on the Proclan henadic bridge between unity and multiplicity. This seems to be foundation of Pico's Number/Cabala.
Pico may or may not be doing theurgy but his angels do the same things that Pseudo-Dionysian angels do, and those activities are theurgic.
We might view the things that PD found "satisfying" about NP theurgy (per Dylan Burns) as keys to Pico's own Dionysian mysticism+angelology.
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