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magic

Magic bullet a medicine or other remedy with wonderful or highly specific properties, especially one that has not yet been discovered. Recorded from the mid 20th century, the term may come ...

MAGIC

MAGIC   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Astronomy (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2018

... Abbr. for Major Atmospheric Gamma-ray Imaging Cherenkov telescope ....

magic

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World Encyclopedia

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2004
Subject:
Encyclopedias
Length:
68 words

... Use (or apparent use) of natural or spirit forces to produce results that are logically impossible. Belief in magic is associated mainly with ‘primitive’ societies, although traces (such as superstitions) can still be found in developed countries. There are two main types of magic: black magic (which makes use of evil spirits) and white magic (used to good purpose and to counteract black magic). See also ...

Magic

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The Oxford Dictionary of Islam

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2003
Subject:
Religion
Length:
114 words

...Magic The word sihr encompasses a wide range of subjects, from white and black magic to having contacts with jinn (nonhuman creatures). Its basic meaning is the same as the English word magic : falsification of reality, having contact with supernatural or psychic powers, and creating a transforming effect on the soul. The meaning, reality, and practice of magic have been dealt with in such diverse sciences as astrology, alchemy, law, and theology. Most of the Quranic references to magic are negative, since Muhammad was accused of being a magician ( sahir ,...

Magic

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Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern World

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2008
Subject:
History, Contemporary History (post 1945)
Length:
1,957 words

...magic. Magic, Religion, and Science. In the nineteenth and part of the twentieth century the study of magic, religion, and science was greatly influenced by evolutionary theories and questions pertaining to the uses of logic in scientific reasoning. The terms “magic” and “religion” were often used to indicate differences between what is Western and non-Western, advanced and primitive, and Christian and non-Christian. Scholars have often valued religion over magic and science over religion. Scholars have wondered if the belief and practice of magic have...

magic

magic  

Dictionary of the Social Sciences

Reference type:
Subject Reference

... homeopathic magic , in which power is based on resemblance between things, and contagious magic , in which power is a function of past proximity to an object. Since then, the distinction between magic and religion has been repeatedly examined—among others, by Emile Durkheim in The Elemetary Forms of Religious Life ( 1915 ), who described magic as an individual practice distinct from the social dimension of religion. The scientific dismissal of magic as irrational and ineffective has also been the subject of considerable debate, beginning with...

Magic

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The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2003
Subject:
Religion
Length:
229 words

... ( Witchcraft, Magic and Oracles among the Azande , 1937 ) held that magic belonged to an interactive world in which it is possible to ask questions which a Westerner would not ask. Thus the Azande are interested in ‘cause-and-effect’, but also ask why events have happened to one person rather than another: magic is a means of interrogation as well as of finding answers. More recently, this view has been developed further, seeing magic as embedded in religion, where it acts as an organization of context and meaning. In this perspective, magic offers the...

Magic

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The Oxford Encyclopedia of African Thought

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2010
Subject:
History, Regional and National History, Philosophy
Length:
2,246 words

... Magic refers to practices, rites, and chants carried out to influence outcomes that either positively or negatively affect events, objects, persons, or a community. The practices of magic in some societies are associated with shamans, sorcerers, and sometimes healers. Magic has been associated with witchcraft, divination, necromancy, theurgy, evocation of spirits, and the use of talismans. The tools of magic vary from region to region. Magic and Religion. Magic has had an interesting relationship with religion and religious communities. In the Hebrew...

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A Dictionary of English Folklore

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2003

... pentacles ). The difference between ‘black’ and ‘white’ magic depends on morality, not techniques: is the magic being used for a good purpose or a harmful one? This of course depends on the point of view of the observer; aggressive counterspells against witches are meant to inflict pain, but since the witch is seen as evil, the counterspell is ‘white’ magic. See also CUNNING MEN , CHARMS , COUNTERSPELLS , DIVINATIONS , IMAGE MAGIC , and WITCHCRAFT . The best descriptions of English popular magic are in Thomas, 1971, especially pp. 177–252, and Davies,...

MAGIC

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The Oxford Dictionary of the Jewish Religion (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2011
Subject:
Religion
Length:
379 words

...up to modern times. See also Amulets ; Demons ; Witchcraft . Joseph Naveh and Shaul Shaked , Magic Spells and Formulae: Aramaic Incantations of Late Antiquity (Jerusalem, 1993). Stephen Sharot , Messianism, Mysticism, and Magic: A Sociological Analysis of Jewish Religious Movements (Chapel Hill N.C., 1982). Michael D. Swartz , Scholastic Magic: Ritual and Revelation in Early Jewish Mysticism (Princeton, 1996). Joshua Trachtenberg , Jewish Magic and Superstition: A Study in Folk Religion (New York, 1977). –REVISED BY MAXINE L....

Magic

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The Oxford Companion to Italian Literature

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
Literature
Length:
212 words

... . From Augustine to Aquinas and beyond, intellectuals had debated the limits and dangers of magic, seen as the effecting of preternatural control over nature with the assistance of demons. Yet there are great problems in defining magic. It can be linked to astrology , divination, religion, natural philosophy, and witchcraft. It appeared in erudite writings by philosophers, theologians, lawyers, and men of science. It was seen as a religious rite, and as a means of union with the Almighty. But it also aimed, in necromantic writings, at establishing...

Magic

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The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
History, Early history (500 CE to 1500)
Length:
490 words

...struggle against magic is one of the main topics of Hagiography (H.J. Magoulias , Byzantion 37 [ 1967–68 ] 228–69). The ambivalent attitude toward magic was typical even of intellectuals: Niketas Choniates records numerous cases of the efficient exercise of sorcery (the magic power of letters and words, hypnotic effects, knowledge of the future) but condemns them as futile, unchristian activities. The church fought against sorcery until the very end of the empire (e.g., C. Cupane, JÖB 29 [ 1980 ] 237–62), but various forms of magic were nonetheless...

magic

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Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
History, Early history (500 CE to 1500)
Length:
685 words

... Isidore of Seville 's influential treatment in the Etymologiae represented magic as an art given by demons to harm humans by disturbing their minds, killing them and deluding them; his categories of magic include various forms of divination ( geomancy , hydromancy, aeromancy, pyromancy, augury, necromancy, astrology etc.). Rabanus Maurus , John of Salisbury , the early canonists and other writers relied on Isidore's definition. Hugh of Saint-Victor also spoke of demons as inspiring, instructing and aiding magicians, even when their magic is...

Magic

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The Oxford Encyclopedia of Children's Literature

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2006
Subject:
Literature, Children's literature studies
Length:
257 words

...kind of magic appears within the everyday world, for instance, in magical transformations or wish fulfillment, and often produces comic effect, showing that magic is out of place in the real world, as in many novels by E. Nesbit . Many stories distinguish between benevolent, or white, magic, and evil, dark, or black magic, but the boundary may be fluctuating. In contemporary works, such as The Lives of Christopher Chant by Diana Wynne Jones or the Harry Potter novels by J. K. Rowling , magic is comparable to knowledge and art that can be taught and...

Magic

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The Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2010
Subject:
Religion, Social sciences
Length:
2,557 words

...both magic and religion would cease to exist as science continues to develop. Frazer argued that the two laws of magic are imitative and contagious. Imitative or homeopathic magic operates according to the “law” of similarity, that is, the belief that like produces like. Results are achieved through mimicry. In contrast, contagious magic is governed by the “law” of contact – the use of materials that have been in contact with the object of magic. Here, we find the belief that people can be influenced even by remote touch. To these two “categories” of magic,...

Magic

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Peter Pels

Encyclopedia of Aesthetics (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2014
Subject:
Art & Architecture, Philosophy
Length:
3,430 words

... 2005 ). It may be no coincidence that the contradictions of the bifurcated perception of magic sketched above were most poignantly realized by two European anthropologists: Bronislaw Malinowski and Marcel Mauss. Malinowski’s brilliant The Language of Magic and Gardening ([ 1935 ] 1965 ) may be the most viable research perspective on magic that was not addicted to a bifurcated modernist view of magic (unlike his earlier work on magic, science, and religion: Magic, Science and Religion and Other Essays , [ 1926 ] 1954 ). By arguing that the infant’s...

magic

magic   Reference library

H. S. Versnel

The Oxford Companion to Classical Civilization (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2014
Subject:
Classical studies, History
Length:
1,575 words

...the intended effects, a rough distinction can be made between harmful ‘black’ magic and innocent or beneficial ‘white’ magic, although the boundaries cannot be sharply drawn. For the category of black magic curse-tablets are the most conspicuous evidence ( see curses ). Numerous other forms of black magic were widely applied and feared: incantations; the use of drugs and poison (significantly pharmakon may refer to magic, poison, and medicine); the practice of ‘sympathetic magic’ ( similia similibus ), for instance the use of ‘voodoo dolls’ melted in fire...

magic

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The Oxford Dictionary of the Classical World

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2007
Subject:
Classical studies, History
Length:
1,284 words

...the charge of magic and discusses various aspects of magic. Other discussions can be found in the satirical works of Theophrastus (e.g. the 16th Character ( Deisidaimōn ) and Lucian . Although early philosophers were often associated with magical experiments, Greek philosophy generally rejected magic. Plato wants the abuse of magic to be punished, and Sceptics , Epicureans ( see epicurus ), and Cynics never tired of contesting magic. 3. Objectives As to the intended effects, a rough distinction can be made between harmful ‘black’ magic and innocent...

magic

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H. S. Versnel

The Oxford Classical Dictionary (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2012
Subject:
Classical studies, History
Length:
1,764 words

... ( De magia ) is a defence against the charge of magic and provides a full discussion of various aspects of ancient magic. Other discussions can be found in the satirical works of e.g. Theophrastus (for instance the 16th Character ( Deisidaimon )), and Lucian , passim . Although early philosophers like Heraclitus ( 1 ) , Pythagoras ( 1 ) , Empedocles , and Democritus were often associated with magical experiments, Greek philosophy generally rejected magic. Plato (1) wants the abuse of magic (φαρμακεία) to be punished, and Sceptics , Epicureans...

Magic

Magic   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to Australian Military History (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009

... was the code name for intelligence intercepts of American origin based on the reading of enemy codes and ciphers. The term came from references to the code-breakers in the American Secret Intelligence Service as ‘magicians’ by the Chief Signal Officer, Brigadier-General Joseph O. Mauborgne . The term referred only to decryptions of Japanese diplomatic traffic which was encrypted on the PURPLE machine. There is some evidence that Australian ministers were made aware of both MAGIC and ULTRA sources before the beginning of the war against Japan. During the...

magic

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The Oxford Companion to Classical Literature (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2011
Subject:
Literature, Classical studies
Length:
1,129 words

...the magic. Similarly at Rome the flamen dialis was not allowed to wear knots or rings. Mockers of magic such as Juvenal and Lucian were very few. Magic received considerable impetus from the rise of Neoplatonism in the third century ad and the consequent need to conciliate the good demons or exorcize the evil demons pervading the universe or possessing individuals. New laws to some extent repressed the conspicuous practice of magic, and the early fathers of the Church condemned it—not as a delusion but as impious. By the fourth century ad magic had...

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