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Scholarly Interest Report
Claire Fanger
Associate Professor
Associate Professor of Religion
  • PhD Medieval Studies (1994) University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
Primary Department
   Department of Religion
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 Societas Magica, a scholarly society devoted to sharing information on the history of magic
Research Areas
 intellectual history of magic, medieval cosmology and epistemology, dreams and visions,occult traditions, representations of human modes of access to the divine
Teaching Areas
 medieval christianity, history, theology, devotion, magic, mysticism, esotericism
Selected Publications
 Refereed articles

“Christian Ritual Magic in the Middle Ages.” History Compass 11.8 (2013): 610-618.


"Libri Nigromantici: The Good, the Bad, and the Ambiguous in John of Morigny's Flowers of Heavenly Teaching." Magic, Ritual, and Witchcraft 7.2 (2012): 164-189.


Claire Fanger and Nicholas Watson, The Flowers of Heavenly Teaching: an Edition and Commentary. Toronto: PIMS Press, 2015.  xxi + 630 pp.


Rewriting Magic: an Exegesis of the Visionary Autobiography of a Fourteenth Century French Monk.  University Park: Penn State University Press, 2015.  xvi +216 pp.

 Editor of books

Claire Fanger (ed.)  Invoking Angels: Theurgic Ideas and Practices, Thirteenth to Sixteenth Century. University Park, PA: Penn State University Press, 2012.


Claire Fanger, Arthur Versluis, Lee Irwin, Melinda Weinstein (eds.) Esotericism, Religion and Nature.  Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 2010.


Claire Fanger (ed.). Conjuring Spirits: Texts and Traditions of Medieval Ritual Magic.  University Park, PA: Penn State University Press, 1998.

 Book chapters

“Magic.”  in Karla Pollman, Willemien Otten, et al., The Oxford Guide to the Historical Reception of Augustine.  Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2013. 860-865.


“God’s Occulted Body: On the Hiddenness of Christ in Alan of Lille’s Anticlaudianus” in April D. DeConick and Grant Adamson (eds.). Histories of the Hidden God: Concealment and Revelation in Western Gnostic, Esoteric, and Mystical Traditions.  Gnostica. Durham: Acumen Publishing, 2013.  101-119.


"Covenant and the Divine Name: Revisiting the Liber Iuratus and John of Morigny's Liber florum celestis doctrine" Chapter 5 in Invoking Angels, University Park PA: Penn State University Press, 2012:  192-216. 


"Theurgy, Magic and Mysticism," Introduction to C. Fanger (ed.) Invoking Angels.  University Park, PA: Penn State University Press, 2012.


Fanger, Claire. “Sacred and Secular Knowledge Systems in the Ars Notoria and the Flowers of Heavenly Teaching of John of Morigny.”  Andreas B. Kilcher, Philipp Theisohn, Hrsg, Die Enzyklopädik der Esoterik: Allwissenheitsmythen und universalwissenschaftliche Modelle in der Esoterik der Neuzeit.  Paderborn:Wilhelm Fink Verlag, 2010.  Pp. 157-175.

 Book reviews

Review of Stuart McWilliams, Magical Thinking: History, Possibility and the Idea of the Occult in British Journal of the History of Science, in The British Journal for the History of Science, 45 (2012) 681-682.


Review of Nadya Q. Chishty-Mujahid, An Introduction to Western Esotericism: Essays in the Hidden Meaning of Literature, Groups and Games.  Aries 10 (2011)


Review of William Sax, Johannes Quack, Jan Weinhold, eds.The Problem of Ritual Efficacy, in Magic, Ritual and Witchcraft, 6.2 (2011): 235-242


“Necromancy, Theurgy, and Intermediary Beings.”  Oxford Bibliographies in Medieval Studies.  Ed. Paul Szarmach.  New York: Oxford University Press, 9/30/2013. http://www.oxfordbibliographies.com/view/document/obo-9780195396584/obo-9780195396584-0006.xml?rskey=Wefeiw&result=2&q=necromancy#firstMatch

 Conference Paper

May 14-17,  International Congress on Medieval Studies,Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI. Paper Title: “The matter of prophecy: practices, props, representations,”


International Congress on Medieval Studies, annual medieval conference at Western Michigan University,  Kalamazoo MI, May 8-11.


Paper presented in the session Western Esotericism and Imaginative Literature  at the AAR (American Academy of Religion) Annual Meeting in San Diego, Nov. 22-25. 


ASE (Association for the Study of Esotericism) biannual conference held at Colgate University, Hamilton, NY, June 19-22

 Invited Papers

Scripted Forms of Magic Knowledge: Grimoires in the Matrix of Western Cultures. Symposium at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, June 8-11.

 Invited Talks

Joint lecture with Nicholas Watson for the Harvard Medieval Seminar: “Angel Magic in the Medieval University: John of Morigny Rewrites the Ars Notoria.”  February 2011.


 “Prayers, Figures and Visualizations: Medieval Ritual Practices for Inducing Visions.” Presented at Secret States: Altered States of Consciousness and Western Esotericism.  Fourth Symposium on Esotericism at the Esalen Institute, organized by J.J Kripal and W.J Hanegraaff and sponsored by the Esalen Institute. April,2007


Paper: “Mirror Magic: Therapeutic Narcissism and the Magical Body in Dion Fortune’s Lilith LeFay Novels” presented at Hidden Truths/Novel Truths: Myth and the Work of Fiction in Western Esotericism.  Third Symposium on Esotericism at the Esalen Institute, organized by J.J Kripal and W.J. Hanegraaff and sponsored by the Esalen Institute. April, 2006.


Paper "Sacred and Secular Knowledge Systems in the Ars Notoria and the Flowers of Heavenly Teaching of John of Morigny" presented atDie Enzyklopädik der Esoterik. Allwissenheitsmythen und universalwissenschaftliche Modelle in der Esoterik der Neuzeit.   Symposium at Wolfenbüttel, Germany, organized by Andreas Kilcher, University of Tübingen. June, 2006.


"Care of God as Care of the Self: Theurgy and Theology in John of Morigny’s Penitential Visions."  Paper presented in the session Western Esotericism and Technologies of the Self  at the AAR in Baltimore, November, 2013. 


Playing with the infant Jesus: John of Morigny's visions from Beyond the Alphabet.  Paper presented at the Crafting Knowledge conference, Rice University, April 2012.


“Use of Figures and Letter Meditations in John of Morigny’s Liber Florum, Old Compilation, Oxford, Bodleian Liturg. 160” Conference, Lux in Tenebris: The Visual and the Symbolic in Western Esotericism, the third international ESSWE conference,  at the University of Szeged, Szeged, Hungary, July 6-10, 2011


Esotercism in the Academy. Panel presentation for the Association for the Study of Esotericism at the AAR in Atlanta, GA, November 2010.


"God's Occulted Body: Divine Involucra in Alan of Lille and Bernard Sylvestris." Hidden God/Hidden Histories, Houston, TX. (April 2010)


"Mysterious Symbols in the Liber florum Old Compilation, Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS liturg. 160." International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, MI. (May 2010)


“The Artist and the Consecrated Book: The Liber florum in Salzburg UB M I 24” 43rd Annual Congress on Medieval studies, Kalamazoo, Michigan, May, 2008

Editorial Positions
 Editor, Magic, Ritual & Witchcraft (Journal). University of Pennsylvania Press. (2010 - 2016)

 Series Editor, Magic in History. Penn State University Press. (2010 - 2016)

 Series Editor, Magic in History Sourcebooks. Penn State University Press. (2010 - 2016)

Supervised Theses & Dissertations
 Michael Heyes, PhD The Metamorphosis of Monsters: Christian Identity in the Middle Ages and the Life of St Margaret. (2015) (Thesis Director)

 Minji Lee, PhD “Bodies of Medieval Women as Dangerous, Liminal, and Holy: Representations in the Writings of Four Late Medieval Religious Women”. (2016) (Thesis Director)