Conference: 50 Years of Keith Thomas's Religion and the Decline of Magic

cd events thomas religion and the decline of magic

Image from The Folio Society's 2012 edition of Religion and the Decline of Magic, illustrated by Grady McFerrin


The event will be live streamed from All Souls College, Oxford. Due to a limit on numbers only a small audience will be invited to attend the conference in person.

This year sees the 50th anniversary of Sir Keith Thomas’s masterpiece, Religion and the Decline of Magic (1971), one of the most significant British historical monographs of the last century. This short conference will celebrate and reflect on Thomas’s achievement as well as publicise new interdisciplinary work on the history of magic and religion. 



Conference Schedule 

14:00-15:30 Session 1: The Decline of Magic Today 

Chair: Sir Noel Malcolm 

Panellists: Robin Briggs, Chris Gosden, Michelle Pfeffer, Will Pooley, Laura Sangha, David Zeitlyn 

(Registrants will be sent the written papers for this roundtable a week in advance of the conference)

16:00-17:30 Session 2: The Legacy of Religion and the Decline of Magic 

Chair: Paul Slack 

Panellists: Michael Hunter, Alan Macfarlane, Jan Machielsen, Sophie Page, Alexandra Walsham 

17:30-17:45 Session 3: Response from Sir Keith Thomas 

Chair: Lyndal Roper 


Organisers: Michelle Pfeffer (Magdalen), Jan Machielsen (Cardiff University), Robin Briggs (All Souls)