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(UCLA History 2D Lectures 1 & 2)

 

Professor Courtenay Raia lectures on science and religion as historical phenomena that have evolved over time; starting in pre-history. She goes on to examine the pre-1700 mind-set when science encompassed elements of magic; how Western cosmologies became 'disenchanted'; and how magical traditions have been transformed into modern mysticisms.

The lectures raise a lot of interesting issues.  For example in Lecture 1, dealing with pre-history, it is convincingly argued that 'The Secret', promoted by Oprah, is not a secret at all, but is the natural primitive human belief position: that it is fundamentally an appeal to magic; the primitive 'default' position. 

But magic is suppressed by both religion and science.  So in our modern secular culture traditional magic has itself been transmogrified, magically transformed, into mysticism.

You may wish to start at Lecture 2 as this may give a better flavour of the issues discussed.  If either is of interest, the whole series is accessible from the YouTube link.

This series is strongly recommended despite its obvious technical shortcomings, only partly due to images being blurred or removed to avoid copyright infringement.

Each lecture lasts for over an hour so you may want to use the slider to hop ahead or back.   I found a good technique is to listen to the sound only while doing something else. You can easily stop and/or back up.

 

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Comments  

# Easterbunny 2011-04-12 00:33
My cottontail is twitching
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# George Maxwell 2011-04-29 00:44
Hi Richard,
Found your website through Clare and looked up the philosophy section. Last night I watched the first lecture above and found it extremely detailed but interesting. Especially how she talks about magic being stuck between science and religion, and having no formal institution. The book I am soon to release crosses the same realms of Science, Religion and magic so it's a good topic. Feel free to ping me an email.
Regards
George
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