p. 1Introduction: initial observations
- Owen Davies
What does magic mean to scholars, non-scholars, scientists, writers, primitive societies, and modern cultures? ‘Introduction: initial observations’ asks How do you define magic? The Ancient Greek origins of the word ‘magic’ describe mysterious Babylonian cult rituals. The word was carried forward by Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. Magic has been an accusation. The major religions have all accused rival religions of magic in an attempt to discredit them and legitimize themselves. Accusations of magic have been used within religions to allow particular factions to gain dominance. Magic also belongs to ‘folk’ religions and Paganism. Fear of ‘black magic’ still exists today, as do religions based on magic, such as Vodou (Haiti).