Studying “Magic” within the Study of Religion


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Essay #: 054457
Total text length is 6,846 characters (approximately 4.7 pages).

Excerpts from the Paper

The beginning:
Studying “Magic” within the Study of Religion
What profit is to be derived from the study of the past?
This paper looks at what profit is to be acquired from the study of the past; in particular, the paper looks at the above question within the context of the study of magic in religion. To get things started, the paper starts by looking at how magic (particularly pagan magic) clearly impacted the formulation of early Christianity; although the evidence is unclear, it does appear as though some sort of syncretism between pagan magic and formative Christianity took place in the earliest days of the Church. In that sense, studying the ancient past allows us to see the origins of the rituals and concepts that ultimately gave shape to the...
The end:
.....e study of the past – particularly the study of magic within the context of religion – gives us an interesting glimpse at the changes in our own society and reminds us of the transience of our current-day attitudes and expectations. Ultimately, the study of the past humbles us, reminds us where we came from, and ensures that we do not become too wedded to today’s fashionable beliefs.
Works Cited
Jevins, F.B. “The definition of magic.” Sociological Review, 1.2 (1908): 105-117.
Hume. R.D. Reconstructing Contexts. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999.
Klauck, H.J. Magic and Paganism in Early Christianity. Edinburgh: T. T. Clark, 2000.
Scullion, J.P. Magic and paganism in early Christianity (Book review). Theological Studies, 62.4 (2001): 868.