We are pleased to offer for review ‘A History of Science, Magic, and Belief: From Medieval to Early Modern Europe‘ by Steven P. Marrone (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014). Expressions of interest are welcome from across the medical humanities, but this book might be particularly suited to a historian. 

9781137029768A History of Science, Magic and Belief is an exploration of the origins of modern society through the culture of the middle ages and early modern period. By examining the intertwined paths of three different systems for interpreting the world, it seeks to create a narrative which culminates in the birth of modernity.

It looks at the tensions and boundaries between science and magic throughout the middle ages and how they were affected by elite efforts to rationalise society, often through religion. The witch-crazes of the sixteenth and seventeenth century are seen as a pivotal point, and the emergence from these into social peace is deemed possible due to the Scientific Revolution and the politics of the early modern state.

This book is unique in drawing together the histories of science, magic and religion. It is thus an ideal book for those studying any or all of these topics, and with its broad time frame, it is also suitable for students of the history of Europe or Western civilisation in general’.

If you would like to write a review on ‘A History of Science, Magic, and Belief’ (approximately 1,000-1,500 words in length),  then please email our reviews editor with a short explanation of why you are well placed to review the book.

1 Comment

Thony C. · May 18, 2015 at 11:48 am


My name in Thony Christie and I’m a historian of science who is most at home in the early modern period. I have been blogging as The Renaissance Mathematicus (https://thonyc.wordpress.com) for six years now where I have 1700 subscribers and an average of 3,500 readers pro post.

I also compile and edit the weekly #histSTM links list Whewell’s Gazette on the Whewell’s Ghost website (https://whewellsghost.wordpress.com), which currently has about 1,000 readers pro edition.

I’m also part of the Twitter history of science community (@rmathematicus) with currently 3,700 followers.

All of which is to make clear that I am a well-known and central figure in the history of science Internet community.

The intersection between science, religion and the so-called occult sciences in the medieval and early modern periods is a central part of my interests as a historian and I have often blogged, as well as writing some book reviews, on aspects of these themes. Therefore I would be more than interested in reviewing the volume ‘A History of Science, Magic, and Belief: From Medieval to Early Modern Europe’ by Steven P. Marrone.

Should interest exist from your side and you have further question don’t hesitate to email me and ask.


Thony Christie

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