11. Rightly Disdained by Intelligent Persons: Magic, Superstition, and the Disenchantment of the World
Ian Alexander Cuthbertson [+]
This essay builds on the discussion of difference and the assumptions about religion in Hughes by focusing on the distinction between religion and magic / superstition. Briefly tracing the distinction between religio and superstitio back 2000 years, Cuthbertson focuses on the emphasis on distinguishing between religion and magic arising from the Protestant Reformation. He highlights ways people have employed that distinction to dismiss Catholic ritual (by Protestant leaders), primitive religion (by forefathers of religious studies), and the contemporary Prosperity Gospel (by some scholars).