Making Magic

Author: Randall Styers
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198037897
Size: 33.39 MB
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Since the emergence of religious studies and the social sciences as academic disciplines, the concept of "magic" has played a major role in defining religion and in mediating the relation of religion to science. Across these disciplines, magic has regularly been configured as a definitively non-modern phenomenon, juxtaposed to distinctly modern models of religion and science. Yet this notion of magic has remained stubbornly amorphous. In Making Magic, Randall Styers seeks to account for the extraordinary vitality of scholarly discourse purporting to define and explain magic despite its failure to do just that. He argues that this persistence can best be explained in light of the Western drive to establish and secure distinctive norms for modern identity, norms based on narrow forms of instrumental rationality, industrious labor, rigidly defined sexual roles, and the containment of wayward forms of desire. Magic has served to designate a form of alterity or deviance against which dominant Western notions of appropriate religious piety, legitimate scientific rationality, and orderly social relations are brought into relief. Scholars have found magic an invaluable tool in their efforts to define the appropriate boundaries of religion and science. On a broader level, says Styers, magical thinking has served as an important foil for modernity itself. Debates over the nature of magic have offered a particularly rich site at which scholars have worked to define and to contest the nature of modernity and norms for life in the modern world.

The Language Of Disenchantment

Author: Robert A. Yelle
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199925011
Size: 73.23 MB
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The Language of Disenchantment explores how Protestant ideas about language inspired British colonial critiques of Hindu mythological, ritual, linguistic, and legal traditions.

Secularism And Religion Making

Author: Markus Dressler
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199783020
Size: 39.14 MB
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This book conceives of "religion-making" broadly as the multiple ways in which social and cultural phenomena are configured and reconfigured within the matrix of a world-religion discourse that is historically and semantically rooted in particular Western and predominantly Christian experiences, knowledges, and institutions. It investigates how religion is universalized and certain ideas, social formations, and practices rendered "religious" are thus integrated in and subordinated to very particular - mostly liberal-secular - assumptions about the relationship between history, politics, and religion. The individual contributions, written by a new generation of scholars with decisively interdisciplinary approaches, examine the processes of translation and globalization of historically specific concepts and practices of religion - and its dialectical counterpart, the secular - into new contexts. This volume contributes to the relatively new field of thought that aspires to unravel the thoroughly intertwined relationships between religion and secularism as modern concepts.

Magic In The Modern World

Author: Edward Bever
Publisher: Penn State Press
ISBN: 0271079878
Size: 67.77 MB
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This collection of essays considers the place of magic in the modern world, first by exploring the ways in which modernity has been defined in explicit opposition to magic and superstition, and then by illuminating how modern proponents of magic have worked to legitimize their practices through an overt embrace of evolving forms such as esotericism and supernaturalism. Taking a two-track approach, this book explores the complex dynamics of the construction of the modern self and its relation to the modern preoccupation with magic. Essays examine how modern “rational” consciousness is generated and maintained and how proponents of both magical and scientific traditions rationalize evidence to fit accepted orthodoxy. This book also describes how people unsatisfied with the norms of modern subjectivity embrace various forms of magic—and the methods these modern practitioners use to legitimate magic in the modern world. A compelling assessment of magic from the early modern period to today, Magic in the Modern World shows how, despite the dominant culture’s emphatic denial of their validity, older forms of magic persist and develop while new forms of magic continue to emerge. In addition to the editors, contributors include Egil Asprem, Erik Davis, Megan Goodwin, Dan Harms, Adam Jortner, and Benedek Láng.

Magic Science And Religion And Other Essays

Author: Bronislaw Malinowski
Publisher: Read Books Ltd
ISBN: 1473393124
Size: 18.74 MB
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This book contains three prolific essays by the world renown polish anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski. First published in 1926, Magic, Science and Religion provides its readers with a seminal collection of texts exploring the concepts of magic, religion, science, rite and myth, detailing how they interlink to offer exciting and informative insights into the Trobrianders of New Guinea. A must-have for any students of anthropology and collectors of Malinowski’s work, we are republishing this classic work with a new introductory biography of the author.

Religion And Science As Forms Of Life

Author: Carles Salazar
Publisher: Berghahn Books
ISBN: 1782384898
Size: 28.81 MB
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The relationships between science and religion are about to enter a new phase in our contemporary world, as scientific knowledge has become increasingly relevant in ordinary life, beyond the institutional public spaces where it traditionally developed. The purpose of this volume is to analyze the relationships, possible articulations and contradictions between religion and science as forms of life: ways of engaging human experience that originate in particular social and cultural formations. Contributions use this theoretical and ethnographic research to explore different scientific and religious cultures in the contemporary world.

Possessing Spirits And Healing Selves

Author: R. Seligman
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 1137409606
Size: 13.41 MB
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Spirit possession involves the displacement of a human's conscious self by a powerful other who temporarily occupies the human's body. Here, Seligman shows that spirit possession represents a site for understanding fundamental aspects of human experience, especially those involved with interactions among meaning, embodiment, and subjectivity.

The Church Of Scientology

Author: Hugh B. Urban
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 069114608X
Size: 66.89 MB
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Hugh Urban tells the real story of Scientology from its cold war-era beginnings in the 1950s to its prominence today as the religion of Hollywood's celebrity elite. Urban paints a vivid portrait of Hubbard, the enigmatic founder who once commanded his own private fleet and an intelligence apparatus rivaling that of the U.S. government. One FBI agent described him as "a mental case," but to his followers he is the man who "solved the riddle of the human mind." Urban details Scientology's decades-long war with the IRS, which ended with the church winning tax-exempt status as a religion; the rancorous cult wars of the 1970s and 1980s; as well as the latest challenges confronting Scientology, from attacks by the Internet group Anonymous to the church's efforts to suppress the online dissemination of its esoteric teachings.

Religion And The Decline Of Magic

Author: Keith Thomas
Publisher: Penguin UK
ISBN: 0141932406
Size: 20.49 MB
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Witchcraft, astrology, divination and every kind of popular magic flourished in England during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, from the belief that a blessed amulet could prevent the assaults of the Devil to the use of the same charms to recover stolen goods. At the same time the Protestant Reformation attempted to take the magic out of religion, and scientists were developing new explanations of the universe. Keith Thomas's classic analysis of beliefs held on every level of English society begins with the collapse of the medieval Church and ends with the changing intellectual atmosphere around 1700, when science and rationalism began to challenge the older systems of belief.