Magic and Modernity: Interfaces of Revelation and Concealment (review)

Date
2007-01-01
Authors
Bailey, Michael
Bailey, Michael
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History
Abstract

Magic and its relation to Western modernity has been a flourishing subject of late. Among those interested in this topic have been anthropologists studying indigenous cultures in Africa, South Asia, and the Americas, and also, in the case of the Americas, forcibly imported non-European (i.e., slave) cultures. Scholarly focus has fallen on the interaction of such cultures with Western modernity in a colonial and postcolonial context. Also exploring this topic have been historians of modern Europe, who have begun to articulate how the explosion of interest in spiritualism and occultism among middle- [End Page 217] class Europeans in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries grew out of complex reactions to modernity. This volume serves as a fine introduction to work in the former area; it might have benefited (if one may put one’s quibbles about a book at the beginning of a review rather than in their more traditional place at the end) from more inclusion of the latter area as well.

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This is a book review from Magic, Ritual, and Witchcraft 2 (2007): 217, doi:10.1353/mrw.0.0028. Posted with permission.

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