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The Myth of DisenchantmentMagic, Modernity, and the Birth of the Human Sciences$
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Jason A. Josephson-Storm

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226403229

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226403533.001.0001

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The Decline of Magic: J. G. Frazer

The Decline of Magic: J. G. Frazer

(p.125) Chapter Five The Decline of Magic: J. G. Frazer
The Myth of Disenchantment

Jason Ā. Josephson-Storm

University of Chicago Press

Chapter 5 argues that James Frazer came late to the narrative of magical decline, and that he did so within a context of psychical research and in the face of a folkloric narrative itself about the departure of fairies and the decline of magic. It shows how Frazer formulated an influential trinary opposition between religion, magic, and science while encoding this typology within a disenchantment narrative. It also recovers a lot theory, Frazer's notions of "the despiritualization of nature" and demonstrates his subsequent influence on occult thinkers.

Keywords:   James Frazer, Folklore, Fairies, the departure of the fairies, the disenchantment of the world, The Golden Bough, Despiritualization, the departure of the fairies, folklore studies, paganism, Great Britain

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