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Making MagicReligion, Magic and Science in the Modern World$
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Randall G. Styers

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195151077

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0195151070.001.0001

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Magic and the Regulation of Piety

Magic and the Regulation of Piety

(p.69) 2 Magic and the Regulation of Piety
Making Magic

Randall G. Styers (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter traces scholarly debates concerning magic first through nineteenth-century theories concerning the origins of religion and then through various twentieth-century attempts by philosophers and social scientists to define the nature of religion. As intellectualized and privatized Enlightenment notions of religion came to define the appropriate forms for human relation to the supernatural, magic no longer designated idolatry, Satanism, or sin (as it had in medieval views of witchcraft and sorcery), but a new form of aberrational behavior, a delusion contravening appropriately rationalist, and largely Protestant, piety. Whether theorists have seen magic as designating a category distinct from (and external to) religion or as an internal subset of religion, magic has functioned to demarcate religion's limits and the bounds for appropriate religious behavior in modern liberal society. This chapter traces the normative views of human identity and power animating these scholarly formulations of magic.

Keywords:   Enlightenment, identity, magic, origins, piety, power, religion

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