The University of Exeter, a school with four locations in the southwest of England, is set to offer a Master of Arts in Magic and Occult Sciences from September 2024.
Interdisciplinarity one year program will allow students to “explore key topics including magic in Greece and Rome, occult texts of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, the history of witchcraft, magic in literature and folklore, deception and illusion, and the history of science and medicine, among others. key themes.”
Emily Selove, head of the new program and associate professor of medieval Arabic literature at Exeter, said: The New York Times that the idea for this degree arose after the university’s faculty noticed a renewed interest among students in the history of witchcraft.
“This mastery will allow people to re-examine the assumption that the West is the place of rationalism and science, while the rest of the world is a place of magic and superstition,” Selove told the BBC.
The program is offered by the university’s Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies with the aim of “replacing Arab-Islamic cultural heritage in its place at the center of these studies and in the history of the West.”
The degree description states that decolonization, “the exploration of alternative epistemologies,” feminism and anti-racism are “at the heart” of the program.
While the University of Exeter is the first British university to offer a degree in witchcraft, others have led the way in academic studies of the occult with their own programs, including the University of Amsterdam.
In the United States, Rice University in Texas offers a certificate program in Gnosticism, Esotericism and Mysticism.
This program aims to provide students with “a theoretical orientation, which they can then apply to their chosen concentrations or areas of study,” which may include “African American religions; African religions; Bible and beyond; Buddhism; Christianity; Hinduism; Islam; Judaism; American religion; New Age and new religious movements, New Testament and early Christianity; etc.”
Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, critical the University of Exeter and other universities offering courses or certificates in magic and witchcraft, arguing that society is “gradually evacuated of its Christian content”.