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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 World of Enchantment; or, Max Weber at the End of History

The World of Enchantment; or, Max Weber at the End of History

(p.269) Chapter Ten The World of Enchantment; or, Max Weber at the End of History
The Myth of Disenchantment

Jason Ā. Josephson-Storm

University of Chicago Press

The final chapter, “The World of Enchantment; or, Max Weber at the End of History,” focuses on Max Weber’s preoccupation with “disenchantment” (Entzauberung) in the same period that Freud was formulating his own version of that myth. It complexies conventional readings of disenchantment by showing how the term fit into Weber’s theory of rationalization. Examining a set of Weber’s letters that have only recently been made available to scholars, the chapter argues that despite Weber’s reputation for being deaf to religion, “mysticism” was not wholly negative, but perhaps a positive reaction to the “iron cage” of modernity. It demonstrates that Weber came to theorize “the disenchantment of the world” (die Entzauberung der Welt) not out of frustration with Prussian bureaucracy, but rather in response to lodging at a Swiss neo-pagan commune.

Keywords:   Max Weber, Stefan George, The Disenchantment of the World, Neo-Paganism, Ascona, die Entzauberung der Welt, Mysticism, Rationalization, The Iron Cage, History of Sociology

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