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Jeffrey Kotyk

Abstract

This study compares the astrological doctrines of the Twelve Houses and Lot of Fortune as they are explained in Xingxue dacheng 星學大成 of Wan Minying 萬民英 (1521–1603) and Christian Astrology by William Lilly (1602–1681). These two astrologers, who were near contemporaries, lived on opposite sides of Eurasia, yet both were heir to traditions of astrology that together reached back to identical origins in the Near East. The use of largely similar doctrines between both authors testifies to the enduring integrity of astrology throughout centuries of transmission westward and eastward through multiple cultures and languages.

Michael Lackner and Charles Burnett

Joanna Komorowska

Abstract

In his Allegoriae Iliadis, John Tzetzes makes frequent use of contemporary astrological teachings: he references planetary aspects, transits, and the respective positions of luminaries, and several important passages of the Iliad are treated as openly astrological in nature. In Tzetzes’s poem, both life and death are decided by changing positions of stars, Alexander (Paris) is favored by Aphrodite (the planet Venus), and Hector is protected by Zeus (the planet Jupiter). The idea of royal birth (or imperial horoscope) plays an important part in Tzetzes’s exploration of the myth of Heracles, and the tropical nature of the sign of Libra, due to the sun’s entry into it at the autumnal equinox, is reflected in the (non-)efficiency of the Greek ramparts. This article considers these references to astrological lore against the wider background of the surviving Fachliteratur and thus seeks to provide insight into Tzetzes’s attitude toward astrology, and, simultaneously, into his own knowledge of the lore.

László Sándor Chardonnens

Abstract

Hemerology, the study of the auspicious and inauspicious qualities of time, plays a role in the astral magic that entered medieval European magic from Arabic sources, although in other areas of magic it seems to have been less present. Yet in three isolated and independent cases from fifteenth-century Germany and early modern England, lunaries, a type of hemerology that originated from the field of divination and prognostication, were adapted to introduce hemerological aspects to a variety of magical practices. These lunaries are here published and analyzed in light of their mantic origins and recontextualized magic uses.

H Darrel Rutkin

Abstract

What is the relationship between astrology and divination? In particular, is astrology a type of divination, as is often asserted or assumed? In both astrology and divination, knowledge and prediction of the future are primary goals, but does this warrant calling astrology a form of divination? I approach these questions by exploring the response of Thomas Aquinas, which was to be extremely influential for many centuries. First I analyze in some detail Thomas’s answer in his Summa theologiae 2-2.92–95; then I discuss two significant sixteenth-century examples of its influence: the 1557, 1559, 1564, and later indexes of prohibited books; and Pope Sixtus V’s anti-divinatory bull, Coeli et Terrae Creator (1586). In this way, we can explore some of the complex historical dynamics at play in the construction of a legitimate astrology in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.

Anne Schmiedl

Abstract

This paper analyzes how fate is understood in imperial Chinese anecdotes on character divination (cezi 測字). It demonstrates that character divination, due to its qualities as a script-based method, allows the protagonists of divination anecdotes to intervene creatively in the predictive process. The protagonists use this opportunity to seize agency and attempt to influence or change their fate through different strategies. The paper explores these strategies in detail. To transform the outcome of the predictions, protagonists make use of apotropaism, repetition, mimesis, name changing, and the interpretative techniques of diviners. This paper contributes to the study of the notion of fate in imperial China by proving the unique role of character divination. It shows that in anecdotes on character divination, unlike in many other divinatory methods, fate is presented as determined. Even though protagonists attempt to assume agency over their fate, they ultimately fail. In Chinese character divination, fate is written in stone.

Between Uniatism and Arabism

Missionary Policies and Diplomatic Interest of the Melkites in Jordan during the Interwar Period

Norig Neveu

Abstract

In the Emirate of Transjordan, the interwar period was marked by the emergence of the Melkite Church. Following the Eastern rite and represented by Arab priests, this church appeared to be an asset from a missionary perspective as Arab nationalism was spreading in the Middle East. New parishes and schools were opened. A new Melkite archeparchy was created in the Emirate in 1932. The archbishop, Paul Salman, strengthened the foundation of the church and became a key partner of the government. This article tackles the relationship between Arabisation, nationalisation and territorialisation. It aims to highlight the way the Melkite Church embodied the adaptation strategy of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches in Transjordan. The clergy of this national church was established by mobilising regional and international networks. By considering these clerics as go-between experts, this article aims to decrypt a complex process of territorialisation and transnationalisation of the Melkite Church.

Catholic Missionaries of the ‘Holy Land’ and the Nahda

The Case of the Salesian Society (1904–1920)

Paolo Pieraccini

Abstract

At the beginning of the twentieth century, some Palestinian and Lebanese Salesians, influenced by the Arab Renaissance movement, began to claim the right to oppose the ‘directorships’ of the institutes of the Don Bosco Society in Bethlehem and the surrounding area. They also began to request better recognition of their native language, in schools and within the religious community. They clashed with their superiors who, in the meantime, had signed an agreement with the Salesian government in Rome, committing them to developing the Italian language in their teaching institutes. The struggle became particularly fierce after the Holy See rebuked the Palestinian religious congregations for teaching the catechism and explaining the Sunday Gospel to people in a foreign language and urged them to do so in Arabic. The clash caused a serious disturbance within the Salesian community. Finally, after the First World War, the most turbulent Arab religious were removed from the Society of Don Bosco. All converged in the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, where they continued forcefully (but in vain) to put forward their national demands. This article is based on several unpublished sources.