Occult Sciences: Volume 1

Occult Sciences: Volume 1 : The Philosophy of Magic, Prodigies and Apparent Miracles

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This examination of the connection between the belief in miracles and religious practices in ancient times was originally written by French politician and polymath Anne-Joseph-Eusebe Baconniere de Salverte (1771-1839) and published in 1829. In 1846, it was translated into English by a Scottish physician and writer, Anthony Todd Thomson (1778-1849), and published in two volumes. Thomson explains that Salverte's work was an important study of miracles and the power of priests, and he had 'performed a beneficial service in throwing open the gates of ancient sanctuaries'. However, Thomson also states that he differed from Salverte over the idea of the miraculous, and that he had expunged or heavily edited any passages relating to Christianity, even changing 'miracles' in the original subtitle to 'apparent miracles'. Volume 1 begins with a consideration of human credulity before discussing magic in the ancient world, and offering explanations for supernatural phenomena.show more

Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1139176455
  • 9781139176453

Table of contents

Preface; A biographical sketch of M. Salverte Francois Arago; Preface by the editor; Introduction; 1. Man is credulous because he is naturally sincere; 2. Difference between miracles and prodigies; 3. Enumeration and discussion of causes; 4. Real but rare phenomena successfully held up as prodigies proceeding from the intervention of a divine power, and believed because men were ignorant that a phenomenon could be local and periodical; 5. Magic; 6. Trial of skill between the thaumaturgists; 7. Errors mingled with the positive truths of science; 8. Safeguards of the mystery that surrounded the occult sciences; 9. Notwithstanding the rivalry of religious sects, the spirit of a fixed form of civilization existed; 10. Enumeration of the wonders that the thaumaturgists acquired the power of working, by the practice of the occult science; 11. Apparent miracles performed by mechanism; 12. Acoustics; 13. Optics; 14. Hydrostatics; 15. Secrets employed in working apparent miracles, in initiations, and in religious rites; 16. Secrets to work upon the senses of the animals.show more