Craig J. Reynolds*

*Corresponding author for this work

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    INTRODUCTION Magic, defined here as certain beliefs and practices for mastering the physical world by appealing to supernatural forces, and religion, the pursuit of existential meaning, salvation, or awakening, do not sit easily together. As Mauss’s words suggest, magic and religion are totalities. They may be, and often are, incompatible with one another. To achieve a desired result, a magician casts a spell, a priest offers a prayer, and a monk chants an invocation from the canon. People who believe in the effects of one of these utterances tend not to believe in the effects of the others. “Nobody seeks out a magician unless he believes in him,” states Mauss emphatically (2010: 114). Even science could be said to be a belief system, but one that rests on a posteriori beliefs.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Buddhist World
    PublisherTaylor and Francis
    Number of pages13
    ISBN (Electronic)9781317420170
    ISBN (Print)9780415610445
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


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