"Magic and Christianity"
Mark Alfino, Philosophy, Gonzaga University

In a brief presentation, Dr. Alfino will discuss some of the results of a recent course he team taught on the subject of
Magic in Renaissance Culture.  Various forms of magic were widely practiced prior to Christianity, within the clergy of the Catholic Church and throughout the West up to at least the 17th and 18th century.  By studying the interaction of early, medieval, and renaissance Christianity with magical culture we found some insights into both the fundamental and overlapping roles of magic and faith in everyday life, the problem facing the early Church with respect to magical culture, and, much later, the relative contributions of magic and Christian philosophy to the emergence of natural science.  This study also raised important questions and lines of thought for the commitments of contemporary faiths to the supernatural and magical causation.  The goal of this presentation will be to open up some of these lines of thought for discussion.

Information about the course on which this presentation is based can be found at: