Present at least three or more perspectives on magic and religion. Compare and contrast these different theories and present a final analysis as to what you believe to be the most accurate analysis in regards to the belief in magic. Examples of different views on magic presented this semester include: magic is real, magic is bad science, magic is superstition, magic empowers the disenfranchised, magic is an aspect of religion, magic as ritual, magic as metaphor, magic is learned, magic is natural, magic is a psychological response to external factors, etc. Your essay should address questions such as, Does this belief in magic primarily help or hinder human potential individually and socially? What role does magic play in contemporary societies? Why has magic has continued to survive in spite of dramatic gains in scientific knowledge?
This essay ought to thoughtfully reflect your learning throughout the semester. Remember to use examples and citations to support your ideas.
Each essay will be between 1500 to 2000 words long and will be worth 20% of your grade. These are formal academic essays and students must cite their sources. MLA is the preferred citation style in Religious Studies.