An Oxford professor of archaeology explores the unique history of magic―the oldest and most neglected strand of human behavior and its resurgence today
Three great strands of belief run through human history: Religion is the relationship with one god or many gods, masters of our lives and destinies. Science distances us from the world, turning us into observers and collectors of knowledge. And magic is direct human participation in the universe: we have influence on the world around us, and the world has influence on us.
Over the last few centuries, magic has developed a bad reputation―thanks to the unsavory tactics of shady practitioners, and to a successful propaganda campaign on the part of religion and science, which denigrated magic as backward, irrational, and "primitive." In Magic, however, the Oxford professor of archaeology Chris Gosden restores magic to its essential place in the history of the world―revealing it to be an enduring element of human behavior that plays an important role for individu
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