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  • Writer's pictureMichael Martin

Seminar: Shakespeare, Religion, and Magic

I am happy to announce that I will be giving on online course—though in real time—entitled Shakespeare, Religion, and Magic. The seminar will begin on Friday, February 3rd and continue every Friday thereafter until March 24th, for a total of eight sessions. The seminars will run from 1:00-2:30 pm Easter Time, which should make it possible for participants from both the British Isles and the West Coast of the US to take part, and will be recorded for archival purposes but not rebroadcast at a later time.

What I’m doing with this course is getting my feet wet for a bigger project: a rogue invisible college (tentatively named “Sophia University”) which, I hope, will eventually include a number of other druids (not sure “professor” or “teacher” are the right words) and offer a range of seminars on mythology, Neoplatonism, Sophiology, poetics and poetry, sacred geometry, music, Goethean science, literature, philosophy, theology, and history (I’m sure other things will appear as well). In addition to these online seminars, I hope to add retreats or low-residency seminars at my farm in Michigan, so we cannot rule out seminars on farming, beekeeping, handcrafts, or the fine arts. So this is just a start.

I have a long-time engagement with Shakespeare reaching back over thirty years and have not only taught Shakespeare at the college-level but have directed productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Twelfth Night, and The Tempest—and I wrote music for the Bard’s many songs and ditties that sprinkle those plays.

This eight-week seminar will examine a number of Shakespeare’s better- and lesser-known plays and the ways in which Shakespeare and his times thought of Divinity and the supernatural. Plays to be discussed include Hamlet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Twelfth Night, Measure for Measure, Macbeth, Pericles, and The Tempest, and we will take them in this order (the first week will be an introduction). The only real requirement is that participants commit to the full eight weeks and read the play in question prior to our discussion of it.

Just about any Collected Works of William Shakespeare will be adequate to the task at hand, though the individual Arden editions are also very good. I would recommend the Norton, Bevington, or the old Riverside editions (I still have the Riverside I used as an undergrad!). All are good, all have great notes (which are supremely helpful!), and are also useful when pressing cheese (I have actually done this).

Seminar fee: $100. Contact me at to enroll or if you have any questions.

A couple of other things

If you haven’t seen The Regeneration Podcast’s recent interview with Dr. Ken Thorp, you absolutely must. He is bridging the gap between the medicine of the years prior to the “Scientific” Revolution and the medicine of the future.

In addition, please check out this beautiful article on my dear friend (she’s nearly a sister) Therese Schroeder-Sheker by music writer Ted Gioia. It, like Therese, is extraordinary.

Michael’s latest book is Sophia in Exile. He can be reached at Also check out the latest volume of Jesus the Imagination: Flesh & Spirit. Twitter: @Sophiologist_

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