I devoted a good part of my academic life to the analytical study of magic.

The spells I studied were formulated not by sorcerers but by philosophers, mathematicians, and theologians; they were strings of words that, once uttered, would bring into being a divinity. They were called “ontological proofs”: rational demonstrations of the existence of god. A half dozen or so such proofs have been sketched out over the course of the past thou­sand years, by thinkers ranging from Anselmus Candiae Genevae, Doctor of the Church (a title roughly equivalent to a PhD for saints), to Kurt Gödel, widely regarded as the greatest mathematician of the 20th century.

It should be remarked that all this should not sound so weird.
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