Our attention will be mainly devoted as heretofore to the pursuit of natural science during that period and the prominence both of experimental method and of magic in the same. But our investigation deals not only with magic and experimental science, but with their relation to Christian thought. It is therefore with interest that we turn to the works of these two early representatives of scholastic theology, and inquire what cognizance, if any, they take of the subjects in which we are especially interested. As we proceed into the later twelfth and thirteenth centuries in subsequent chapters, we shall also take occasion to note the utterances of other leading men of learning who speak largely from the theological standpoint, like John of Salisbury and Thomas Aquinas. The existence of demons and of occult virtues in nature by which marvels may be worked. Magic avails itself both of demonic and natural forces. The demons are more thoroughly acquainted with the secrets of nature than are men. But this does notprove that scientific research is necessarily diabolical orthat anyone devoting himself to investigation of nature is giving himself over to demons. The inevitable conclusion is rather that if men will practice the same long experimentation and will exercise the same "subtle ingenuity" as thedemons have, there is nothing to prevent them, too, from becoming at last thoroughly acquainted with the natural powers of things. Also magic, since it avails itself of natural forces, is akin to natural science, while natural science may hope some day to rival both the knowledge of the demons and the marvels of magic.

 

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A History of Magic and Experimental Science - Lynn Thorndike 1923

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