Thursday, August 04, 2016

But how does it work?

We're starting a new book today: Forestalling Doom

Forestalling Doom
"Apotropaic Intercession" in the Hebrew Bible and the Ancient Near East
Alter Orient und Altes Testament - AOAT 417
by Marian W. Broida
Ugarit-Verlag, 2014
xx + 282 pp., English
ISBN: 9783868351101
Your Price: $114.00

Here's the first excerpt:

The efficacy attributed to magic relies on mystery. Believers in the efficacy of magic accept the existence of some kind of causality, one that originates in a connection to the sacred domain. A key aspect of this divine causality is that it follows mysterious rules that differ from those of the ordinary world. Although Sørensen notes that, “in principle the sacred space can be unfolded, revealing its secrets,” the mechanisms of action within this “divine physics” are not simply a matter of the ordinary intuitive science through which people manipulate the ordinary material and social world. Theologians or even children may learn rules or explanations prevalent in their cultures about supernatural agents or magical actions, but this kind of information is learned differently, at later ages, than the intuitive science grasped during infancy. In general, it is the conflict with that foundational intuitive science that leads observers to call something “magic.”—Forestalling Doom page 22

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