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Egil Asprem

>     Psychic Enchantments of the Educated classes - The Paranormal and the Ambiguities of Disenchantment

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Egil Asprem
>   Psychic Enchantments of the Educated classes - The Paranormal and the Ambiguities of Disenchantment

 

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Science will not remain mute on spiritual and ethical questions for long. Even now, we can see the irst stirrings among psychologists and neuroscientists of what may one day become a genuinely rational approach to these matters – one that will bring even the most rareied mystical experience within the purview of open, scientiic inquiry. It is time we realized that we need not be unreasonable to sufuse our lives with love, compassion, ecstasy and awe; nor must we renounce all forms of spirituality or mysticism to be on good terms with reason.
Sam Harris, he End of Faith


(trecho inicial)

Academics against the stream?

In his famous 1999 recantation of the strong secularization thesis, Peter Berger noted that there were really only two exceptions to what he called an ongoing and increasing desecularization of the world: European societies west of the old Iron Curtain, and “an international subculture composed of people with Western-type higher education”. Parallel to the inversion of secularization theory, scholars of new religious movements started reversing Max Weber’s thesis of the disenchantment of the world as well (Entzauberung der Welt), arguing that a process of re-enchantment is sweeping through Western culture. In 1918 Weber had proclaimed that all “mysterious incalculable forces” were being eradicated from the world by science and scientiically based technologies. Entzauberung – literally the disappearance of magic (Zauber) – signified a new mentality in which modern people believed that anything around them could, in principle, be comprehended rationally, and that no oferings to capricious deities or magical manipulations of occult forces were needed to master the world.

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