Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist
Magic, Science, and Religion in Early Modern Europe

Magic, Science, and Religion in Early Modern Europe

$25.99 (P)

Part of New Approaches to the History of Science and Medicine

  • Date Published: January 2021
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108441650

$ 25.99 (P)

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Hardback, eBook

Request examination copy

Instructors may request a copy of this title for examination

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • From the recovery of ancient ritual magic at the height of the Renaissance to the ignominious demise of alchemy at the dawn of the Enlightenment, Mark A. Waddell explores the rich and complex ways that premodern people made sense of their world. He describes a time when witches flew through the dark of night to feast on the flesh of unbaptized infants, magicians conversed with angels or struck pacts with demons, and astrologers cast the horoscopes of royalty. Ground-breaking discoveries changed the way that people understood the universe while, in laboratories and coffee houses, philosophers discussed how to reconcile the scientific method with the veneration of God. This engaging, illustrated new study introduces readers to the vibrant history behind the emergence of the modern world.

    • Surveys the relationship between science, magic and religion in early modern Europe
    • Introduces readers to complex historical and philosophical ideas using accessible language, clear examples, and engaging images
    • Suitable for courses on the Renaissance and early modern Europe, the history of science, the history of medicine, and the history of religion
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    ‘An enchanting, yet eminently accessible, tour of the magical and mysterious in European thought from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment. The real wizardry is how Waddell masterfully explains the uniqueness of early modern views of magic, religion and nature, while emphasizing the profound links between this past and our present.' Matthew James Crawford, Kent State University

    ‘Waddell provides a superb review of the intersections among belief systems and underlines the great extent to which they determined early modern lived experience. Magic, Science and Religion in Early Modern Europe is deftly written and invites the reader to imagine as well as learn, to engage curiosity and passion as well as intellect. It is a triumph in the genre.' Allison Kavey, CUNY John Jay College and CUNY Graduate Center

    ‘Waddell’s book is a brilliant work of synthesis and, in effect, he performs his own kind of alchemy, transforming heavyweight theories in the history and philosophy of science into crystal clear, accessible prose, creating a rich summary of his topic in just over 200 pages. Magic, Science, and Religion in Early Modern Europe will be a staple on student reading lists for years to come.’ Ross MacFarlane, Fortean Times

    ‘... a very helpful bibliographical essay offering suggestions for further reading.’ José Manuel Lozano-Gotor, ESSSAT News & Reviews

    ‘This fascinating and detailed study enables a deeper understanding of the dynamics and development of modernity and makes a valuable contribution to European history …’ Nicole Maria Bauer, Religious Studies Review

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2021
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108441650
    • length: 300 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 12 mm
    • weight: 0.317kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Hermeticism, the Cabala, and the Search for Ancient Wisdom
    2. Witchcraft and Demonology
    3. Magic, Medicine, and the Microcosm
    4. A New Cosmos: Copernicus, Galileo, and the Motion of the Earth
    5. Looking for God in the Cosmic Machine
    6. Manipulating Nature: Experiment and Alchemy in the Scientific Revolution
    7. A New World? The Dawn of the Enlightenment
    Bibliographical Essays.

  • Author

    Mark A. Waddell, Michigan State University
    Mark A. Waddell is Associate Professor at Lyman Briggs College, Michigan State University.

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×
warning icon

Turn stock notifications on?

You must be signed in to your Cambridge account to turn product stock notifications on or off.

Sign in Create a Cambridge account arrow icon

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.