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theurgy

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n theurgy white magic performed with the help of beneficent spirits (as formerly practiced by Neoplatonists)
    • n theurgy the effect of supernatural or divine intervention in human affairs
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Theurgy A divine work; a miracle; hence, magic; sorcery.
    • Theurgy A kind of magical science or art developed in Alexandria among the Neoplatonists, and supposed to enable man to influence the will of the gods by means of purification and other sacramental rites.
    • Theurgy In later or modern magic, that species of magic in which effects are claimed to be produced by supernatural agency, in distinction from natural magic.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n theurgy The working of some divine or supernatural agency in humau affairs; a producing of effects by supernatural means; effects or phenomena brought about among men by spiritual agency. Specifically— Divine agency, or direct divine interference, in humau affairs or the government of the world.
    • n theurgy A system of supernatural knowledge or powers believed by the Egyptian Platonists and others to have been communicated to mankind by the beneficent deities, and to have been handed down from generation to generation traditionally by the priests.
    • n theurgy The art of invoking deities or spirits, or by their intervention conjuring up visions, interpreting dreams, prophesying, receiving and explaining oracles, etc.; the supposed power of obtaining from the gods, by means of certain observances, words, symbols, etc., a knowledge of the secrets which surpass the powers of reason—a power claimed by the priesthood of most pagan religions.
    • n theurgy In mod. magic, the pretended production of effects by supernatural agency, as contradistinguished from natural magic.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Theurgy thē′ur-ji that kind of magic which affects to work by supernatural agency, as distinguished from natural magic and necromancy
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. theurgia, Gr. qeoyrgi`a, fr. qeoyrgo`s doing the works of God; qeo`s God + 'e`rgon work: cf. F. théurgie,. See Theism, and Work
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Gr. theourgiatheos, a god, ergein, to work.

Usage

In literature:

Ecstasy for the initiates, theurgy for the crowd.
"Lectures on the true, the beautiful and the good" by Victor Cousin
We have already seen this Theurgy in Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist.
"Christianity Unveiled" by Nicolas-Antoine Boulanger
The common characteristic of all the New Platonists is a tendency to mysticism, theosophy, and theurgy.
"A History of Philosophy in Epitome" by Albert Schwegler
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