By Jesper Sørensen

Magic is a common phenomenon. in every single place we glance humans practice ritual activities within which fascinating traits are transferred by way of actual touch and items or people are manipulated via issues in their likeness. during this ebook Sørensen embraces a cognitive viewpoint on the way to examine this usual yet arguable subject. Following a critique of the conventional ways to magic, and basing his claims on classical ethnographic situations, the writer explains magic's universality through studying a few recurrent cognitive procedures underlying its assorted manifestations. He specializes in how energy is infused into the ritual perform; how representations of contagion and similarity can be utilized to attach in a different way unique gadgets to be able to manage one by means of the opposite; and the way the functionality of formality activates representations of magical activities as powerful. Bringing those positive aspects jointly, the writer proposes a cognitive conception of ways humans can characterize magical rituals as functional activities and the way ritual activities are built-in into extra complicated representations of occasions. This clarification, in flip, yields new insights into the constitutive position of magic within the formation of institutionalised spiritual ritual.

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

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