• From animalistic magic to New Age syncretism: a brief overview

    Author(s):
    Serge Kernbach (see profile)
    Date:
    2014
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    extrasensory phenomena, vitalism, Late Antique syncretism, New Age, shamanism
    Permanent URL:
    https://doi.org/10.17613/6n7q-vh70
    Abstract:
    This work provides a brief overview of various extrasensory phenomena as a historical process driven by religious, esoteric and social causes. Combinations of these factors in ancient, medieval and industrial cultures led to the emergence of various mystico-magical currents, such as shamanism, animism, witchcraft, magic of names, sympathetic magic, Wicca, etc. The general framework is defined by consideration from the magic of polytheistic religions to the magic of monotheism, further to the vitalism of XVII-XIX centuries and information theories of XX century. Earlier movements do not disappear, but continue to coexist with later movements; this explains the syncretism of different historical eras. As an example, the Late Antique syncretism, which gave rise to Hermeticism, Gnosticism and Neoplatonism, and the New Age syncretism are discussed. The emergence and roots of parapsychology are analyzed, as well as the opposition between 'unconventional research' and 'pathological scientific skepticism'.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    4 months ago
    License:
    Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
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