FACTOID # 15: A mere 0.8% of West Virginians were born in a foreign country.
 
 Home   Encyclopedia   Statistics   States A-Z   Flags   Maps   FAQ   About 
   
 
WHAT'S NEW
 

SEARCH ALL

FACTS & STATISTICS    Advanced view

Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 

 

(* = Graphable)

 

 


Encyclopedia > Magic and religion

A belief in magic as a means of influencing the world seems to have been common in all cultures. Some of these beliefs crossed over into nascent religions, influencing rites and religious celebrations. Over time, religiously-based supernatural events ("miracles") acquired their own flavor, separating themselves from standard magic. Some modern religions such as Neopaganism embrace connections to magic, while others retain only echoes. The Sorceress by John William Waterhouse Magic and sorcery are the influencing of events, objects, people and physical phenomena by mystical, paranormal or supernatural means. ... Culture (from the Latin cultura stemming from colere, meaning to cultivate), generally refers to patterns of human activity and the symbolic structures that give such activity significance. ... A miracle, derived from the old Latin word miraculum meaning something wonderful, is a striking interposition of divine intervention by a god in the universe by which the ordinary course and operation of Nature is overruled, suspended, or modified. ... Neopaganism or Neo-Paganism is any of a heterogeneous group of new religious movements, particularly those influenced by ancient, primarily pre-Christian and sometimes pre-Judaic religions. ...


Unlike other ("nature-based") magic, religiously based magic almost always involves requesting the intervention of a deity or deities to enact the desired effect. It is up to the good pleasure of the contacted deity whether to grant the request or not; the supplicant is, individually, powerless (though some might claim a personal divine gift, such as speaking in tongues). Tongues redirects here. ...

Contents

Magical practices in prehistory

Appearing from aboriginal tribes in Australia and New Zealand to rainforest tribes in South America, bush tribes in Africa and pagan tribal groups in Western Europe and Britain (as personified by Merlin), some form of shamanism and belief in a spirit world seems to be common in the early development of human communities. According to Joseph Campbell, the ancient cave paintings in Lascaux may have been associated with "the magic of the hunt."[1] Much of the Babylonian and Egyptian pictorial writing characters appear derived from the same sources. The term indigenous peoples has no universal, standard or fixed definition, but can be used about any ethnic group who inhabit the geographic region with which they have the earliest historical connection. ... South America South America is a continent crossed by the equator, with most of its area in the Southern Hemisphere. ... A tourism sign post Yalgoo, Western Australia The Dingo Fence near Coober Pedy Fitzgerald River National Park in Western Australia Outback refers to remote and arid areas of Australia, although the term colloquially can cover any lands outside of the main urban areas. ... A world map showing the continent of Africa Africa is the worlds second-largest and second most-populous continent, after Asia. ... The borders of Western Europe were largely defined by the Cold War. ... Merlin Ambrosius (Welsh: Myrddin Emrys (Merlin the Wise); also known as Myrddin Wyllt (Merlin the Wild), Merlin Caledonensis (Scottish Merlin), Merlinus, and Merlyn) is the personage best known as the mighty wizard featured in Arthurian legends, starting with Geoffrey of Monmouths Historia Regum Britanniae. ... A shaman doctor of Kyzyl. ... Painting of bison attacking a man, from the cave at Lascaux, c. ... Babylonia was an ancient state in Iraq), combining the territories of Sumer and Akkad. ...


Although indigenous magical traditions persist to this day, very early on some communities transitioned from nomadic to agricultural civilizations, and with this shift, the development of spiritual life mirrored that of civic life. Just as tribal elders were consolidated and transformed into kings and bureaucrats, so too did shamans and adepts evolve into priests and a priestly caste. “King” redirects here. ... The shaman is an intellectual and spiritual figure who is regarded as possessing power and influence on other peoples in the tribe and performs several functions, primarily that of a healer ( medicine man). The shaman provides medical care, and serves other community needs during crisis times, via supernatural means (means... The adept masters the highest of esoterical knowledge. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Caste systems are traditional, hereditary systems of social restriction and social stratification, enforced by law or common practice, based on endogamy, occupation, economic status, race, ethnicity, etc. ...


This shift is not in nomenclature alone. It is at this stage of development that highly codified and elaborate rituals, setting the stage for formal religions, began to emerge, such as the funeral rites of the Egyptians and the sacrifice rituals of the Babylonians, Persians, Aztecs and Maya civilizations. The Persians of Iran (officially named Persia by West until 1935 while still referred to as Persia by some) are an Iranian people who speak Persian (locally named Fârsi by native speakers) and often refer to themselves as ethnic Iranians as well. ... The Aztecs is a term used for certain Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican peoples of Central America. ... The Maya civilization is a Mesoamerican civilization, noted for the only known fully developed written language of the pre-Columbian Americas, as well as its spectacular art, monumental architecture, and sophisticated mathematical and astronomical systems. ...


Psychological perspective

Main article: Magical thinking

Some anthropologists have asserted that "magical thinking" is a form of proto-science or pseudoscience rather than a form of religious practice, most notable among them being Sir James George Frazer and Bronisław Malinowski. By this line of thought, early magical beliefs developed through a post-hoc fallacy — a supplication was made on the altar, and then it rained shortly afterward. Regardless of whether the supplication was the actual cause, it was credited with the change, and thus magical beliefs could grow. In psychology and cognitive science, magical thinking is non-scientific causal reasoning (e. ... See Anthropology. ... In psychology and cognitive science, magical thinking is non-scientific causal reasoning (e. ... Phrenology is regarded today as a classic example of pseudoscience. ... Sir James George Frazer (January 1, 1854 - May 7, 1941), a social anthropologist influential in the early stages of the modern studies of mythology and comparative religion, was born in Glasgow, Scotland. ... For the Olympic champion athlete see Bronislaw Malinowski (athlete). ... The West Wing, see Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc (The West Wing). ...


Religious practices and Magic

Closely related to magic are most forms of religious supplication, asking the divine for aid. Perhaps the most famous form is prayer, which is often considered a spiritual duty in communing with the divine, even aside from any miraculous effects on the outside world. Supplication (also known as petitioning) is the most common form of prayer, wherein a person asks a supernatural deity to provide something, either for the person who is praying or for someone else on whose behalf a prayer of supplication is being made. ... Mary Magdalene in prayer. ...


Both magic and religion contain rituals. Typically, there is a recognition that rituals do not always work; rather, it is thought to simply increase the likelihood of the desired result coming to pass. (Some practitioners of "natural" magic believe that their spells always work.) While many rituals focus on personal communion with the divine and spiritual purification, others often seek "magical" results, such as healing or good luck in battle. A ritual is a set of actions, performed mainly for their symbolic value, which is prescribed by a religion or by the traditions of a community. ...


The name of God

There is a long-standing belief in the power of "true names;" this often descends from the magical belief that knowing a being's true name grants you power over it. This is often seen as a requirement in spiritualism; knowing the identity of a spirit greatly aids in soliciting information from it. By 1853, when the popular song Spirit Rappings was published, Spiritualism was the object of intense curiosity. ...


If names have power, then knowing the name of God grants the greatest power of all. This belief is reflected in ancient Judaism, which used the Tetragrammaton (YHWH, usually translated as "LORD" in small caps) to refer to God "safely" in the Tanakh. Saying the name of God without good reason ("taking the Lord's name in vain," one of the Ten Commandments) could result in stoning.(Rabbi Joseph Telushkin has claimed that the commandment is simply to not use God's name to deceive or to bully.) The same belief is seen in Hinduism, but with different conclusions; rather, attaining transcendence and the power of God is seen as a good thing. Thus, some Hindus chant the name of their favorite deities as often as possible, the most common being Krishna[2]. It has been suggested that Yahweh be merged into this article or section. ... Tanakh (Hebrew: ‎) (also Tanach, IPA: or , or Tenak, is an acronym that identifies the Hebrew Bible. ... This 1768 parchment (612x502 mm) by Jekuthiel Sofer emulated the 1675 Decalogue at Amsterdam Esnoga synagogue. ... Stoning, or lapidation, refers to a judicial or non-judicial execution method carried out by an organized group throwing stones or rocks. ... Hinduism (known as in modern Indian languages[1]) is a religion that originated in the Indian subcontinent. ... This article is about the Hindu deity. ...


Religious artifacts

Some religions believe in transferring holiness to objects and places; this is often seen in even simple things like "christening" ceremonies for a new boat. Churches and certain religiously-minded individuals often consecrate the ground where a building will be constructed.


The practice was exceedingly common during the Middle Ages, where a large market for spiritual trinkets existed. Shards of the true cross and fingerbones of saints were often brought back by Crusaders from the Holy Land, where they were sold to the peasantry as cure-alls. Most scholarly sources agree that the vast majority of these sales were frauds and simply a form of supplemental income for the Crusaders, though[citation needed]. This article is about historical Crusades . ...


This practice somewhat fell into disrepute during the Reformation; it became associated with idol worship. As a result, this is less seen in Protestantism than Roman Catholicism or Eastern Orthodoxy[3]. Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Wycliffe Tyndale · Luther · Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      For other uses, see... Idolatry is a major sin in the Abrahamic religions regarding image. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Wycliffe Tyndale · Luther · Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      Protestantism encompasses the forms... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Wycliffe Tyndale · Luther · Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      The Roman Catholic Church... The Eastern Orthodox Church is a Christian body that views itself as: the historical continuation of the original Christian community established by Jesus Christ and the Twelve Apostles, having maintained unbroken the link between its clergy and the Apostles by means of Apostolic Succession. ...


Sacrifice

Main article: Sacrifice

One of the more controversial practices in magic and religion both, this involves a sacrifice to a supernatural being, such as a god, angel, or demon, who is asked to intervene on behalf of the person performing the sacrifice. Marcus Aurelius and members of the Imperial family offer sacrifice in gratitude for success against Germanic tribes: contemporary bas-relief, Capitoline Museum, Rome For other uses, see Sacrifice (disambiguation). ... Marcus Aurelius and members of the Imperial family offer sacrifice in gratitude for success against Germanic tribes: contemporary bas-relief, Capitoline Museum, Rome For other uses, see Sacrifice (disambiguation). ... This article discusses the term God in the context of monotheism and henotheism. ... A Gothic angel in ivory, c1250, Louvre An angel is a supernatural being found in many religions. ... “Fiend” redirects here. ...


Sacrifice can take many forms. The most common forms of supplication and sacrifice in pagan and neopagan religious practice involves the burning of oils or incense. Other common forms of supplication may include the offering of personal objects to a deity, offering chants, and the offering of drinks and food. Less used is blood sacrifice. In early history, blood sacrifice was common; a goat or calf would be sacrificed. Often, divination would be practiced via the reading of entrails (notably in Ancient Rome). Leviticus contains detailed rules for proper blood sacrifice, used in early Judaism. Blood sacrifice has been rejected by some neopagans, but not all; both Asatru and Celtic/Irish Reconstructionists still practice blood sacrifice and burnt animal offerings. In hoodoo, blood ritual, or the giving of one's own blood in ritual practices, is not entirely uncommon. Most strands of modern Judaism believe that with the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, there is no place to sacrifice to any more, and thus the need is negated (modern Samaritans disagree, and maintain the practice). In Christianity, it is believed that Jesus's final sacrifice renders any further sacrifices unnecessary. Islam has always firmly rejected the concept of sacrifices, though some syncretic blends of Islam and native practices in places such as Indonesia feature sacrifice as an element of worship. The bronze sheeps liver of Piacenza, with Etruscan inscriptions A haruspex was a sort of augur in the Roman religion who practiced divination, by inspecting the entrails of sacrificed animals, especially the livers of sacrificed sheep. ... Religion in ancient Rome combined several different cult practices and embraced more than a single set of beliefs. ... Leviticus is the third book of the Hebrew Bible, also the third book in the Torah (five books of Moses). ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Neopaganism or Neo-Paganism is any of a heterogeneous group of new religious movements, particularly those influenced by ancient, primarily pre-Christian and sometimes pre-Judaic religions. ... satr , also known as Odinism, describes a number of attempts to reconstruct the indigenous religions of Northern Europe. ... This does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... A blood ritual is any ritual that involves the intentional release of blood. ... A drawing of Ezekiels Visionary Temple from the Book of Ezekiel 40-47 The Temple in Jerusalem or Holy Temple (Hebrew: בית המקדש, transliterated Bet HaMikdash) was located on the Temple Mount (Har HaBayit) in the old city of Jerusalem. ... For the ethnic group of this name, see Samaritan. ... Christianity percentage by country, purple is highest, orange is lowest Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Wycliffe Tyndale · Luther · Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch... This article is about Jesus of Nazareth. ... Islam (Arabic:  ) is a monotheistic religion based upon the teachings of Muhammad, a 7th century Arab religious and political figure. ...


The most extreme form of sacrifice, and the one carrying the most negative taboo, is human sacrifice. The moloch is one famous but disputed example of the practice; the Carthaginians seemingly sacrificed young children when circumstances looked grim, hoping to regain their gods' favor. Some historians attribute this as one reason for their downfall.[citation needed] Other cultures preferred to sacrifice only their enemies, offering up captured prisoners in supplication; the Druids became one of the two religions banned by the Roman Empire due to their practice of (Roman) human sacrifice[2]. The book Genesis contains the famous story of the "Binding of Isaac"; Abraham is ordered to sacrifice his son Isaac by God, but it turns out that God was only performing a mysterious test, and a ram is sent instead. Human sacrifice is condemned afterward. The Qur'an contains strong condemnations of the Arabian pagans who would sacrifice babies who turned out to be unwanted girls by leaving them in pots in the desert to die of exposure, saying that such practice surely leads to Hell. This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Moloch or Molech or Molekh representing Hebrew מלך mlk is either the name of a god or the name of a particular kind of sacrifice associated historically with Phoenician and related cultures in north Africa and the Levant. ... Carthage (Greek: , from the Phoenician meaning new town, Arabic: , Latin: ) refers both to an ancient city in North Africa located in modern day Tunis and to the civilization that developed within the citys sphere of influence. ... see Religions of the Ancient Near East // Pantheon Carthaginian religion was based on Phoenician religion. ... Two druids, from an 1845 publication, based on a bas-relief found at Autun, France. ... Genesis (Hebrew: , Greek: Γένεσις, meaning birth, creation, cause, beginning, source or origin) is the first book of the Torah, the Tanakh, and the Old Testament. ... Sacrifice by Robert Sherman (1983). ... The angel prevents the sacrifice of Isaac (Rembrandt, 1634) Abraham (Hebrew: , Standard Avraham Ashkenazi Avrohom or Avruhom Tiberian  ; Arabic: ,  ; Geez: , ) is a figure in the Bible and Quran who is by believers regarded as the founding patriarch of the Israelites and of the Nabataean people in Jewish, Christian and... An angel prevents Abraham from sacrificing Isaac Tedla in this illumation gangster from a 14th century Icelandic manuscript. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ...


Magic and Abrahamic religion

Magic and Abrahamic religions have had a somewhat checkered past. The King James Version of the Bible included the famous translation "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live" (Exodus 22:18)[4] , and Saul is rebuked by God for seeking advice from a diviner who could contact spirits. However, miracles from God are considered legitimate, such as Moses' staff turning into a snake. The Tanakh contains many condemnations of non-Jews and their practices; it is unclear how much it is simple heresy being condemned, and how much magic. Magic was seen as intricately tied up with Baal-worship and other unacceptable forms of religion at the time. In the New Testament and later theology, it is thought that all seeming "magic" is actually powered by demons, making it even more unacceptable. Thus, magic was seen as taboo throughout much of the Middle Ages unless draped in Christianity; Beowulf is an example of a story of likely pagan origin that was infused with religion to make it "acceptable." Occasional persecutions were made on the basis of witchcraft, or at least using witchcraft as the excuse to execute enemies with. A famous example is the Salem Witch Trials. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... This page is about the version of the Bible; for the Harvey Danger album, see King James Version (album). ... Saul (שאול המלך) (or Shaul) (Hebrew: שָׁאוּל, Standard Tiberian  ; asked for or borrowed) is a figure identified in the Books of Samuel and Quran as having been the first king of the ancient Kingdom of Israel. ... Moses with the Tablets, 1659, by Rembrandt This article is about the Biblical figure. ... For other uses, see Baal (disambiguation). ... John 21:1 Jesus Appears to His Disciples--Alessandro Mantovani: the Vatican, Rome. ... The first page of Beowulf Beowulf is an Old English heroic epic poem composed in the later Early Middle Ages (in the 8th, 9th or 10th century). ... 1876 illustration of the courtroom; the central figure is usually identified as Mary Walcott The Salem witch trials, which began in 1692 (also known as the Salem witch hunt and the Salem witchcraft episode), resulted in a number of convictions and executions for witchcraft in both Salem Village and Salem...


The Qur'an contains references to both good and bad jinn, claiming that some submitted to God while others persist in disobedience. Soliciting the aid of a Muslim jinn might grant magic-like effects and be acceptable to God, such as that done by King Sulayman (Solomon). Evil jinn are the rough equivalent of demons to other religions. Genie is the English term for the Arabic جن (jinn). ... Sulayman (Süleyman, Sulaiman, Suleyman, Suleiman) (Arabic: سليمان) is a prophet in the Quran, which assumes that he is King Solomon of the Bible. ...


Modernistic Abrahamic theology claims that the age of miracles has passed, and "magic" is now ineffective (whether or not it actually worked in the past). Therefore, the point is moot and there is no need to hunt down witches, because there aren't any true ones. More literalistic brands of Christianity still maintain a belief in demons and evil spirits, but normally believe that in accordance with Christ's commands, devil-worshippers should be "saved," not slain. Judaism, after long years of persecution after the diaspora, has mostly lost its taste for killing magicians. The Jewish people have depended on tolerance of their host societies, and suggesting that undesirable people be driven away could upset the balance and end in their own persecution. For other uses, see Diaspora (disambiguation). ...


References

  1. ^ Campbell, Joseph (1991). The Masks of God: Primitive Mythology. Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-019443-6. 
  2. ^ a b Gonick, Larry. The Cartoon History of the Universe. Doubleday. 
  3. ^ Palmer, R. R.; Joel Colton [1950] (1995). A History of the Modern World, Eighth Edition, McGraw-Hill, Inc.. 
  4. ^ [1611] King James Version of the Bible. 

Joseph John Campbell (March 26, 1904 – October 31, 1987) was an American professor, writer, and orator best known for his work in the fields of comparative mythology and comparative religion. ... Larry Gonick is a cartoonist best known for The Cartoon History of the Universe, a history of the world in comic book form, which he has been publishing in installments since 1977. ... The Cartoon History of the Universe is an ongoing book series about the history of the world. ... Robert Roswell Palmer (January 11, 1909 - June 11, 2002) Robert Roswell Palmer, commonly known only as Palmer or R.R. Palmer, is best known for his work as a history text writer. ... The King James or Authorised Version of the Bible is an English translation of the Christian Bible first published in 1611. ...

See also


  Results from FactBites:
 
Anthropology of Religion:  Magic and Religion (753 words)
Magic practiced in secret by someone who wants to harm you is the answer.
which is a magical procedure by which the cause of a particular event or the future is determined.
In societies in which magic and witchcraft are accepted as realities, mental illness is usually explained as being a consequence of witchcraft or the actions of supernatural beings and forces.
The Golden Bough/Magic and Religion - Wikisource (0 words)
In some cases of magic which have come before us we have seen that the operation of spirits is assumed, and that an attempt is made to win their favour by prayer and sacrifice.
Yet though magic is thus found to fuse and amalgamate with religion in many ages and in many lands, there are some grounds for thinking that this fusion is not primitive, and that there was a time when man trusted to magic alone for the satisfaction of such wants as transcended his immediate animal cravings.
If an Age of Religion has thus everywhere, as I venture to surmise, been preceded by an Age of Magic, it is natural that we should enquire what causes have led mankind, or rather a portion of them, to abandon magic as a principle of faith and practice and to betake themselves to religion instead.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

COMMENTARY     


Share your thoughts, questions and commentary here
Your name
Your comments

Want to know more?
Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 


Press Releases |  Feeds | Contact
The Wikipedia article included on this page is licensed under the GFDL.
Images may be subject to relevant owners' copyright.
All other elements are (c) copyright NationMaster.com 2003-5. All Rights Reserved.
Usage implies agreement with terms, 1022, m