ON THE RELATIVITY OF THE CONCEPTS OF 'MAGIC' AND 'RELIGION'
Languages of publication
This is a review of classic publications, mainly English and Polish, written in the course of 130 years (from 1871 to 2001) on the mutual relations between the concepts in question. At the beginning (more or less until the mid 20th century) anthropology believed that religion (mainly Christian, but not only) is superior to magic. However, in light of new anthropological studies, religious and magical practices, introduced at the turn of the 19th century, became more popular. It is emphasized that the division into religion and magic was commonly accepted neither in the Antiquity nor in the 19th century. There was no such division among tribal peoples of the entire world. The division into religion and magic is a later phenomenon. The author quotes a number of sources, which emphasize the similarities and differences between magic and modern, secularized science. The scepticism, expressed in the title, reflects the opinion that despite efforts made by a few generations of authors, so far no scholar has managed to satisfactorily identify evident and unquestionable differences between what is usually believed to be religion and what is usually believed to be magic. H.S. Versnel's opinion, who said that neither magic nor religion exists, must be corroborated. What we have is only our definition of these concepts.
Publication order reference
CEJSH db identifier