Do We Really Live in a Disenchanted World?

DisenchantmentJason A Josephson-Storm, a religion professor at Williams College, thinks that disenchantment is a myth.  Over at Immanent Frame he writes about his new book The Myth of Disenchantment: Magic, Modernity, and the Birth of Human Sciences.

Here is a taste:

A great many theorists have argued that precisely what makes the modern world “modern” is that people no longer believe in spirits, myths, or magic. Even theorists who have challenged grand narratives of secularization often assume that modernity produces a disenchanted world. The age of myth is allegedly over, the spirits have vanished, and vibrant nature has been subjugated.

In The Myth of Disenchantment: Magic, Modernity, and the Birth of the Human Sciences, I argue that as broad cultural history goes, this narrative is wrong. Our era is far from mythless, belief in spirits continues to be widespread, vitalized nature has been a persistent philosophical counter-current, and even attempts to suppress magic have failed more often than they have succeeded. Hence, I contend that the whole notion of “modernity” as rupture that undergirds a host of disciplines is itself a myth.

Read the entire piece here.

It sounds as if anyone who studies lived religion, or actually practices a religious faith, will resonate with this new book.