Monday, January 24, 2011
In his Oration Pico is careful to define magic as dealing with the natural world only.
In contrast to "demonic" forms of magic which involve conjuring, and he claims the church rightly hates,
Pico suggests a magic that is the operative part of natural philosophy, and serves a purpose of generating religious wonder.
However, although Pico attempts to distinguish between the bad and good kinds of magic, when he waxes eloquent about the value of magic to philosophy and theology, he is nevertheless getting into dangerous territory. Blum suggests that Pico got himself into trouble over magic because he was crossing a boundary that the Renaissance chuch wanted to maintain between natural philosophy and theology. Pico was not suspected of the kind of sorcery that theurgic interpreters have tried to read into him, but for a dangerous concept of natural philosophy, according to this view.
many scholars have put the becoming angelic part together with the theological value of magic.
Yates and French, even COpenhaver ________
Bono and Mebane
Pico's relationship to Aquinas is a controversial issue that has been unnecessarily confused.
Craven's historiography - impatient with historians who should have known better, read Pico more carefully, didn't understand theological issues before making accusations of gnosticism/heresy/magic.
Angel inspires Pico to mystical action, but not because his ultimate goal is to become infused at his human level with angelic being for magical purposes, but in order to escape his human state.