Also found in: Thesaurus, Wikipedia.


n. pl. the·ur·gies
1. Divine or supernatural intervention in human affairs.
2. Magic performed with the supposed aid of beneficent spirits, as formerly practiced by the Neoplatonists.

[Late Latin theūrgia, from Greek theourgiā, sacramental rite, mystery : theo-, theo- + -ourgiā, -urgy.]

the·ur′gic, the·ur′gi·cal adj.
the·ur′gi·cal·ly adv.
the′ur·gist n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


a magician who persuades or compels a supernatural being to do or refrain from doing something. — theurgy, n. — theurgic, theurgical, adj.
See also: Magic
-Ologies & -Isms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
vi-xii) that verses 73-74 of the proem to the poem referred to the execution of the theurgist Maximus in the reign of Valens in terms of specific legislation against divination passed by the emperor Constantius II (25 January 357).
The Kabbalistic theurgist focuses on returning humans to paradisiacal wholeness by increasing the power of the Divine.
(36) See Van den Berg, Proclus' Hymns, 87, where he notes the parallel between Iamblichus and Proclus on the fact that prayers were not meant to force the gods as the "gods conferred their blessing on the theurgist because of the ties of [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] between the gods and their creatures.
(3) This is not surprising when we consider that--much like the theurgist rediscovering a lost alchemy--public librarians are only recently reacquainting themselves with readers advisory or reader development, as attested by Karen Cunningham, Glasgow's Head of Libraries
Such omissions of necessary details also appear in the theurgic rituals in the Chaldean Oracles, where the theurgist is told to hold an unidentified password in his mind as he prepares for ascension; "gnostic" Christian and Jewish texts likewise specify knowledge of certain phrases as critical elements of heavenly ascent.
The Symbolists believed in the potential power of poetry to transform the world; the poet was considered to be a theurgist and a prophet.
The same may be said of Pearson's promising thesis that the Nag Hammadi Codices echo rituals of ascent and union comparable to those of the theurgist. A moment's speculation on the inevitable effects of ritual usage will suffice to explode the |consensus' that the present Zostrianus and Allogenes are the books that Plotinus knew.
Here, the theurgist is advised to escape materiality by opting to reenter it.
The motif of a prophet, theurgist, or holy man seeking an immortal, often by ascending to heaven, in order to receive esoteric knowledge is one common in late antiquity.(34)
The first is the interpretation developed over the last quarter century of the late antique movement in Neoplatonic philosophy of Iamblichus as no longer demonic theurgist, but as religious philosopher, at least in part countering growing Christian intellectual and social influence by developing the understanding of the philosopher as a pagan holy figure with sapiential sayings, miracles, and historical genealogy.
The latter's treatise De radiis appears therefore to be an innovative combination of catarchic astrology with the magical technique of telestike described for example in the Chaldaean Oracles of Julian the Theurgist.