WAUKESHA, WIS.— An electronic book recently published by Inter-Disciplinary Press of Oxford, United Kingdom, was co-edited by Scott Hendrix, assistant professor of history at Carroll University, and senior Timothy Shannon. “Magic and the Supernatural” is a collection of essays by scholars from around the world who attended the first Global Conference on Magic and the Supernatural presented by Inter-Disciplinary.Net in March 2010.
It was at the conference, held in Salzburg, Austria, that Hendrix was asked to assemble and edit the electronic volume. “I was honored to be asked, but this was at a very busy time and I knew I needed help,” Hendrix said. “I knew T.J. to be an absolutely outstanding young man and very hard worker who had demonstrated that he was a good writer who understood the technical apparatus of scholarship well. He blew me away.”
T.J., a history major from Sheboygan, Wis., logged hours while working in the history department and while on break between semesters. He edited papers, organized footnotes and wrote short introductions to several of the essays. “It’s rare for a student to graduate with this sort of publishing credit to his name. But I really couldn’t have pulled this volume together without him,” Hendrix said.
“Having a publication feels great because it is a tangible accomplishment that demonstrates my growth over the past four years,” T.J. said. “It gives me one more achievement to walk away with from my experience at Carroll.”
During the conference, and as collected in “Magic and the Supernatural,” scholars from a variety of disciplinary and geographic perspectives tackled problems and questions related to magic and the supernatural. In the book’s preface, Hendrix states that “Questions about magic and the supernatural are not simply artifacts of some past from which we have moved on. Rather, if we are to understand the world in which we live, we must give serious thought to the magical and the supernatural, for not only have such beliefs shaped the world in which we live, but they are still very much with us.”
Chapters include the implications and philosophical meanings of magical modes of thinking, historical overviews of magical and superstitious beliefs as well as their continued importance, supernatural imagery and its implications on the human psyche, and the ways in which magical beliefs inform cultural identities. Hendrix wrote one of the historical essays, titled “Rational Astrology and Empiricism, From Pico to Galileo.”