Miraculous Powers and False Advertising

Ariel Glucklich

in The End of Magic

Published in print May 1997 | ISBN: 9780195108798
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199853434 | DOI:
Miraculous Powers and False Advertising

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For a variety of reasons, the topic of magic has become dominated by speculation about supernatural causality and miraculous achievements and, following closely on the heels of these, mischiefmakers and scroundrels. Some magicians in Banaras boast about miraculous acts they have performed or cures they have effected. The magician's need to advertise locally, matched sometimes by a desire to impress a foreign scholar, is understandable. Miraculous claims therefore accompany magical practice as a matter of course. Furthermore, magic goes hand in hand with the paranormal by its very nature. A magician is successful if he can either demonstrate or effectively advertise miraculous accomplishments. The simplest reason for associating magic with miracles is not truly intrinsic to either, but it is predictable. It is simple public relations based on sound business thinking. But like all overzealous advertising, it carries risks. When the focus of research shifts to the “magical consciousness”—to the experience of magical interrelatedness—then the question of miracles becomes irrelevant.

Keywords: magic; supernatural causality; miracles; Banaras; magicians; advertising; public relations; paranormal; magical consciousness

Chapter.  6565 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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