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The Re-Enchantment of the World: Secular Magic in a Rational Age
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The Re-Enchantment of the World: Secular Magic in a Rational Age (Hardback)

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Synopsis

The Re-Enchantment of the World is an interdisciplinary volume that challenges the long-prevailing view of modernity as "disenchanted." There is of course something to the widespread idea, so memorably put into words by Max Weber, that modernity is characterized by the "progressive disenchantment of the world." Yet what is less often recognized is the fact that a powerful counter-tendency runs alongside this one, an overwhelming urge to fill the vacuum left by departed convictions, and to do so without invoking superseded belief systems. In fact, modernity produces an array of strategies for re-enchantment, each fully compatible with secular rationality. It has to, because God has many "aspects"-or to put it in more secular terms, because traditional religion offers so much in so many domains. From one thinker to the next, the question of just what, in religious enchantment, needs to be replaced in a secular world receives an entirely different answer. Now, for the first time, many of these strategies are laid out in a single volume, with contributions by specialists in literature, history, and philosophy.

Joshua Landy is Professor of French at Stanford University and the author of Philosophy as Fiction: Self, Deception, and Knowledge in Proust (2004). Michael Saler is Professor of History at the University of California, Davis and the author of The Avant-Garde in Interwar England: Medieval Modernism and the London Underground (1999).

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