Meaning of theurgy in English:


Pronunciation /ˈθiːəːdʒi/


mass noun
  • 1The operation or effect of a supernatural or divine agency in human affairs.

    ‘While theurgy (almost by definition) lies within the realms of both magic and religion, thaumaturgy does not.’
    • ‘The practice of theurgy, then, becomes a way for the soul to experience the presence of the divinity, instead of merely thinking or conceptualizing the godhead.’
    • ‘Most (though not all) Christian denominations today frown on the actual practice of any magic other than theurgy and that only as practised by qualified clergy.’
    1. 1.1A system of white magic practised by the early Neoplatonists.
      ‘The Greeks made a distinction between theurgy and thaumaturgy.’
      • ‘It should be emphasised also that there is no good evidence that theurgy was ever practised in the Latin West, and that theurgists were well aware of how little they had in common even with the vast majority of late antique pagans.’
      • ‘When he returned to Sardis he entered the circle of local Neoplatonists, learned theurgy and medicine, and mainly taught rhetoric.’
      • ‘It is certainly true that theurgy operated at the boundary between religion and magic, as I have argued myself, and that it represents the closest thing to Wicca that can be traced in antiquity; but how close was it?’
      • ‘Martianus was pagan (he makes veiled allusions to Christianity as well as to Chaldaean theurgy, and elegizes over the silence of the oracles) and sufficiently well-read in Greek to translate Aristides Quintilianus' treatise on music.’
      black magic, sorcery, magic, witchcraft, wizardry, necromancy, enchantment, spellworking, incantation, the supernatural, occultism, the occult, the black arts, divination, malediction, voodoo, hoodoo, sympathetic magic, witching, witchery


Mid 16th century via late Latin from Greek theourgia ‘sorcery’, from theos ‘god’ + -ergos ‘working’.