Michael Ryan will be at the UNM Bookstore on Thursday, April 26 at 1 p.m. to speak about and sign copies of "A Kingdom of Stargazers: Astrology and Authority in the Late Medieval Crown of Aragon" (Cornell University Press).

Astrology in the Middle Ages was considered a branch of the magical arts, one informed by Jewish and Muslim scientific knowledge in Muslim Spain and, as such, was deeply troubling to some Church authorities. Using the stars and planets to divine the future ran counter to the orthodox Christian notion that human beings have free will, and some clerical authorities argued that it almost certainly entailed the summoning of spiritual forces considered diabolical.

Ryan examines the interest in astrology in the Iberian kingdom of Aragon, where ideas about magic and the occult were deeply intertwined with notions of power, authority and providence.

Ryan is associate professor of History at UNM. He is coeditor of ‘End of Days: Essays on the Apocalypse from Antiquity to Modernity.'

The UNM Bookstore is located at 2301 Central Ave. NE at the intersection of Cornell and Central.  Please contact Lani Tyler at 277-7473 or latyler@unm.edu for more information.