By Jesper Sørensen

Magic is a common phenomenon. in every single place we glance humans practice ritual activities within which fascinating features are transferred through actual touch and gadgets or people are manipulated by way of issues in their likeness. during this publication Sørensen embraces a cognitive standpoint that allows you to examine this normal yet debatable subject. Following a critique of the conventional methods to magic, and basing his claims on classical ethnographic circumstances, the writer explains magic's universality by means of studying a couple of recurrent cognitive strategies underlying its diverse manifestations. He makes a speciality of how energy is infused into the ritual perform; how representations of contagion and similarity can be utilized to attach differently targeted items as a way to manage one by means of the opposite; and the way the functionality of formality activates representations of magical activities as potent. Bringing those beneficial properties jointly, the writer proposes a cognitive thought of the way humans can signify magical rituals as useful activities and the way ritual activities are built-in into extra complicated representations of occasions. This rationalization, in flip, yields new insights into the constitutive function of magic within the formation of institutionalised non secular ritual.

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A Cognitive Theory of Magic (Cognitive Science of Religion) by Jesper Sørensen


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