То есть социальные институты современности устойчивы, поскольку произошла демаркация религии, магии и науки, причем магия маргинализована. Устройство китов - только при таком их соотношении социальный мир современности. его экономические, правовые и пр. установления устойчивы. Если это соотношение изменить - современность посыпется.
This book seeks to excavate the genealogy of modern Western theories of magic and to explore their operations, with particular focus on the most influential theories in religious studies and the social sciences. Chapter 1 examines the social and intellectual context in which academic theories of magic emerged in the latter half of the nineteenth century. Beginning with a discussion of witchcraft and magic in early modernity, the chapter explores a number of the cultural factors crucial in shaping Western understandings of magic and modernity.
The remaining chapters explore major themes in the scholarly literature on magic since the late nineteenth century. Chapter 2 examines the construction of magic in relation to liberal religious piety, chapter 3 in relation to modern scientific rationality, and chapter 4 in relation to modern social order and capitalist economic relations. These chapters seek to address a basic set of questions: How has magic functioned in modern thought to demarcate the limits of religion? How have constructions of magic served to give definition to science and scientific rationality? Finally, with magic positioned as a buffer between religion and science, what social and political norms have been promoted through these theories?
Three major epistemic changes profoundly affected the shape of magic in the modern world.
First, through the course of the Reformation and the Enlightenment, religion came increasingly to be seen as properly a matter of the private intellect, a view deeply informed by generations of religious reform—and particularly by Protestant polemics against Catholic ritual and devotional practices.
Coupled with this development was the astounding proliferation of capitalism and modern science, social practices sharing related forms of mechanistic and rationalized manipulation of the material world. Finally, the late nineteenth century saw the consolidation of European control over much of Asia and Africa, and colonial conquest and exploitation gave rise to new forms of scholarly analysis of “primitive” culture. These three developments exerted profound influence on almost every aspect of European and American culture. But for our purposes here, they particularly altered cultural perspectives on the natural world and the proper role of religion and science within modern society.
As various thinkers struggled to come to terms with the norms for life in this seemingly disenchanted new world, to articulate appropriately modern forms of piety, efficiency, and rational control, magic emerged as a remarkably useful analytical tool. A host of social theorists, philosophers, and scholars of religion turned to magic as a central theme in their efforts to delineate the nature of the modern.
As discussed in the first chapter, the effort to stake out what it means to be “rational” or “scientific” stretches back to the earliest days of modernity. Debates over the early modern witchcraft persecutions and the slow process of formulating and clarifying various grounds for opposing the persecution of witches were a formative episode in the self-constitution of modernity. Many of the early opponents of the witchcraft persecutions (Weyer, Scot, Bayle) were lauded by subsequent generations as harbingers of modern scientific rationality and critical thought. And one of the recurrent themes among the Western philosophers discussed in that chapter was an aversion to—and simultaneous fascination with—the superstitious or nonrational.
Magic has served as a principal weapon in these contests over modern identity. It has been configured, in Frazer's words, as “the bastard sister of science.” As discussed in the prior chapter, there is a venerable tradition seeing magic as the illegitimate relation of religion, but there is also a long tradition mapping its bastardy in regard to science. While the precise nature of magic's filiation has remained ambiguous, there has been broad scholarly consensus in the West both that magic is illegitimate and that magic is gendered in decidedly feminine terms. As Alexander Le Roy framed it, “Magic is the perversion of science as well as of religion.”
So far from being due to caprice or accident, magic represents a primitive form of real science, based as is modern science upon experimentation and observation. Its fallacy or its weakness is due merely to the limited scope of the observation and experience upon which it rests; and the greater value of modern science results, primarily, from the infinitely wider scope of our experience and observation.
Jastrow concluded that the primitive belief in the efficacy of magic is precisely equivalent to the modern confidence in science. Salomon Reinach echoed Tylor and Frazer in asserting that when magical techniques begin to have actual effect, science is born. And W. H. R. Rivers also reiterated this intellectualist perspective as he argued that a concept of medicine separate from magic or religion emerged only with “the gradual substitution of the concept of physical causation for the spiritualistic agencies of the animism which formed the early attitude toward nature.” Thus, Rivers asserted, the development of medicine is bound up with the emergence of a clear differentiation between the natural and supernatural worlds. Early animistic interpretations of the universe become increasingly replaced by materialist explanations as cultures evolve
As Driberg and Webster demonstrate, one of the major undercurrents of Western theories of magic has been concern with administering non-European populations. This theme emerges in numerous social science texts, and it is also particularly prominent in texts popularizing social scientific theory for use by European and American missionaries and administrators. Western theories of magic formed an important component of the broader efforts to subjugate and manage populations under imperial control. Magic marked non-Western peoples as culturally and developmentally inferior, and in this light colonialism could be framed as a compelling civilizing mission.
The political potency of modern magic as an “anti-culture” has depended on the underlying logic of the cultural and scholarly paradigm stigmatizing magic as nonmodern and condemning it to the margins. The effort to valorize magical practices as subversive of the norms of modernity adopts the logical structure of this paradigm but then turns the paradigm against itself. This move has been important to various countercultural groups that have adopted magic as a trope for social critique. As we saw in the introduction, Starhawk claims that magic is a potent resource for feminist spirituality because of magic's unsettling political valence. Donate Pahnke concurs that one of the reasons feminists were drawn to magic is that magic and feminism share a similar countercultural pull. In “spiritual feminism,” Pahnke explains, magic is given a positive role, while its contents are transformed and revalued. Magic is configured not as a form of “power-over” various spiritual forces, but as a form of “power from and with” those forces through which feminists seek to challenge pervasive modern notions of individuation, hierarchy, and instrumental control. As Pahnke frames it, this notion of spiritual magic is profoundly contrary to traditional Christianity; magic has “an explosive political dimension” in its radical rethinking of the notion of power.
We have also seen numerous modern scholars of magic seeking to segregate human representation and desire from the workings of the natural world, but again the very extravagance of magic seems to destabilize this effort. In 1935 Ruth Benedict asserted that “the province of magic in human societies is as wide as human desires,” and subsequent social theorists have elaborated this theme to reject the modern rhetoric seeking to impose some firm differentiation between nature and culture, reason and desire, objectivity and subjectivity. As Tom Driver has shown, magic draws much of its appeal from the overt insistence that human beings inhabit a world in which nature and culture are fused in a unity, that “not all power is physical and material.” While the logic of modernity seeks to impose stark boundaries among the psychological, the sociopolitical, and the material, magic works instead to disrupt those boundaries, to affirm the complex ways in which these realms interpenetrate one another. Desire is constitutive of all human signification, meaning, and behavior, and human subjectivity plays a formative role both within the array of circumstances to be transformed and as a causal force contributing to transformation. As Driver asserts, magic aims at the transformation of a multifaceted situation including human subjectivity together with a range of external subjects and objects; it constitutes the “reordering of a totality.” 9 Despite so much scholarly insistence that subjectivity and desire must be cordoned away from the world of material causality, magic illuminates the potency of their intermingling. And in this display, magic also points us toward what has been taking place behind the modern logic of disavowal: never before has human desire intervened so powerfully within the workings of material causality.
Magic has held great appeal for scholars because of its capacity both to reinscribe and to subvert the self-representations of the modern world. The dominant modern constructions of magic have configured a disenchanted world prone to commodification by rationalized markets. But critics of this configuration have turned the paradigm against itself, invoking magic to resist the fundamental play of power within modernity. I opened with Bruno Latour's warning of the duplicity of those who analyze magic. It is fitting, then, to turn to him once again:
Fortunately, the world is no more disenchanted than it used to be, machines are not more polished, reasoning is no tighter, and exchanges are not better organized. How can we speak of a “modern world” when its efficacy depends upon idols: money, law, reason, nature, machines, organization, or linguistic structures? We have already used the word “magic”.Since the origins of the power of the “modern world” are misunderstood and efficacy is attributed to things that neither move nor speak, we may speak of magic once again. 10 With the illusory—and hypnotic—hold of Western modernity increasingly exposed both in material culture and in social theory, philosophers, cultural theorists, and political activists have moved forward in their efforts to think beyond the dualisms and binary logics on which modernity has been founded toward new configurations of knowledge and power. By contesting these reifications and binary logics, by unmasking the charade of a disenchanted world, by seeking to reanimate decayed and lifeless abstractions of religion with new spirit and power, we might confront modernity and imagine it otherwise. There is potent magic in that imagining.