Sacred reading as magical practice: a theological hermeneutic of Dion Fortune’s The Cosmic Doctrine

Kendrick, Dale Evans (2013). Sacred reading as magical practice: a theological hermeneutic of Dion Fortune’s The Cosmic Doctrine. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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Serious academic considerations of magic, beyond its merely social, cultural or psychopathological contexts are few. As one of them, this thesis claims that a coherent function of Dion Fortune’s The Cosmic Doctrine, according to demonstrable textual intention, is as a participative magical process. Fortune’s text consists, primarily, of an extended, incomprehensible metaphor: the movement of infinite space. It claims to be designed to train the mind of the reader rather than inform it. The abstruseness of the text, wherein subjective and objective referents are treated simultaneously, prompts an interpretive tool; this thesis presents a tripartite hermeneutic as such a tool. An exploration of emanationism, according to Fortune’s understanding of Qabalah, presents the conceptual matrix of The Cosmic Doctrine. An implicit dialogue with the philosopher Henri Bergson provides a basis for discussing process thought as integral to Fortune’s emanationist cosmology. The literary theory of manuduction embraces intuitive cognition of reality as process and the spiritual practice of reciprocity between human and divine activity inherent within Fortune’s emergent emanationism. The resulting hermeneutic serves to provide a practical, participative approach to The Cosmic Doctrine whereby reading the text functions as a psycho-cosmological magical experience in accordance with its author’s definition of such.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion


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