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Conjuring Magic

Reviews of Conjuring Asia: Magic, Orientalism and the Making of the Modern World by Chris Goto-Jones and Making Magic: Religion, Magic, and Science in the Modern World

REVIEWED BY MICHELLE AINSWORTH

“Just about anything can be magic, but almost nothing is.”

—Chris Goto-Jones, Conjuring Asia

“Theoretical debates over magic have persisted because of their resonance with broader contemporary social concerns.”

—Randall Styers, Making Magic

How was the magic of distant lands perceived in the 20th century? In his 2016 book Conjuring Asia: Magic, Orientalism, and the Making of the Modern World, philosopher Chris Goto-Jones discusses western stage magicians’ use of Asian themes in their acts and writings, as a vehicle for discussing the meaning of magic today. In the 2004 book Making Magic: Religion, Magic, and Science in the Modern World, religion professor Randall Styers discusses how anthropologists and other scholars analyzed “native” magic over the past century. Both books frame discussions of magic around modernity, including the dominance of science.

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About Skeptic

SPECIAL SECTION Skeptic’s Science Dialogues: Bill Nye in Conversation with Michael Shermer on Climate Change, Travel to Mars, Artificial Intelligence, Nuclear Power, GMOs and more… ARTICLES Miracle Water: Why Zamzam Water is Not a Valid Medical Treatment; Lone Wolf Terrorism: The Convergence of Mental Illness, Marginality, and Cyber Radicalism; Torturing Data; Mass Hallucinations and Shoddy Journalism; What Would it Take to Change Your Mind?; ET v. Earth Pathogens; Trouble in the Multiverse; Science v. Subjectivity: Football Playoff Teams Selecting College Football Playoff Teams as a Case Study COLUMNS The SkepDoc: Functional Medicine; The Gadfly: The Multi-headed Hydra of Prejudice REVIEWS The Stealth Determinism of Westworld—a Review of the television series Westworld; Back to the Future and Forward to the Past—a Review of Time Travel: A History; Cosmic Consciousness and the Ptolemaic Principle—a review of You Are the Universe: Discovering Your Cosmic Self and Why it Matters; Science International—a review of Courting Science: Securing the Foundation for a Second American Century; Conjuring Magic—two books on the history of magic: Conjuring Asia: Magic, Orientalism and the Making of the Modern World and Making Magic: Religion, Magic, and Science in the Modern World JUNIOR SKEPTIC An Easy Guide to Baloney Detection
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