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Making Magic: Religion, Magic, and Science in the Modern World


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An American Academy of Religion Book | 2004-01-15 | ISBN: 0195151070 | 304 pages | PDF | 1,5 MB

Since the emergence of religious studies and the social sciences as academic disciplines, the concept of &"magic&" has played a major role in defining religion and in mediating the relation of religion to science. Across these disciplines, magic has regularly been configured as a definitively non-modern phenomenon, juxtaposed to distinctly modern models of religion and science. Yet this notion of magic has remained stubbornly amorphous. In Making Magic, Randall Styers seeks to account for the extraordinary vitality of scholarly discourse purporting to define and explain magic despite its failure to do just that. He argues that this persistence can best be explained in light of the Western drive to establish and secure distinctive norms for modern identity, norms based on narrow forms of instrumental rationality, industrious labor, rigidly defined sexual roles, and the containment of wayward forms of desire. Magic has served to designate a form of alterity or deviance against which dominant Western notions of appropriate religious piety, legitimate scientific rationality, and orderly social relations are brought into relief. Scholars have found magic an invaluable tool in their efforts to define the appropriate boundaries of religion and science. On a broader level, says Styers, magical thinking has served as an important foil for modernity itself. Debates over the nature of magic have offered a particularly rich site at which scholars have worked to define and to contest the nature of modernity and norms for life in the modern world.
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Hephzi-Bah Publishing House | 1999-08-01 | ISBN: 8983140356 | 338 pages | PDF | 1,2 MB This is the first book in this age to preach the gospel of the baptism and the blood of Jesus as it is written in the Scriptures. The true gospel clearly tells us that He took away all our sins through His baptism and took over judgment for all our sins on the Cross. I am sure that there is no other book that preaches ‘the gospel of the water and the blood’ more clearly and faithfully than this one. The Samaritan woman who drank from the well of Jacob everyday couldn’t quench her spiritual thirst, but when she drank the water of life from Jesus, she earned salvation and thus, quenched her thirst immediately and forever. All of humankind must be born again. We have to be born again through our faiths, be redeemed from all our sins and become righteous. For only then can we enter the eternal Kingdom of Heaven. The Bible says, "Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God" (John 3:5). "To be born again of water and the Spirit" is the only way we can enter the eternal Kingdom of God. What, then, is this ‘water’ and ‘the Spirit’ that allows us to be born again? The ‘water’ in the Bible refers to ‘the baptism of Jesus.’ Why was Jesus, who is God, baptized by John the Baptist? Was it to show His humility? Was it to proclaim Himself the Messiah? No, it wasn’t. When Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist by means of ‘the laying on of hands’ (Leviticus 16:21), it was ‘one Man’s righteous act’ (Romans 5:18), which took away all the sins of humankind. In the Old Testament, God gave Israel the merciful law of redemption. This was so that on the Day of Atonement, all the sins of Israel for that year could be expiated through the High Priest, Aaron, by laying his hands on the head of the ‘scapegoat’ and passing all the sins onto that scapegoat. These were the words of revelation, which foretold the sacrifice of eternal atonement. It revealed the truth that all the sins of humanity would be passed onto Jesus all at once, who came in the flesh of a man, according to the will of the Father. And He was baptized by John the Baptist who was the descendant of Aaron and the representative of all humankind. When Jesus was baptized, He said to John, "Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness" (Matthew 3:15). Here, ‘for thus’ means ‘by the laying on of hands,’ in order to pass all the sins of the world onto Jesus, so that all righteousness might be fulfilled for all of us. The word ‘righteousness’ is ‘dikaiosune’ in Greek, and its meaning is "the fairest state" or "to be just in character or deeds with the implication of being righteous or fitting." Jesus had fulfilled all righteousness for all people through His baptism in a just and fitting manner. Because Jesus took on all the sins of people through His baptism, the next day, John the Baptist testified, "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1:29) With all the sins of humankind on His shoulders, Jesus walked toward the Cross. He vicariously took the judgment for all the sins He had taken on Himself through His baptism. He died on the Cross, saying, "It is finished" (John 19:30). He took all our sins onto Himself and received the complete judgment for them in our place. This one book will surely quench your spiritual thirst forever and ever.

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