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The End of Magic$
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Ariel Glucklich

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780195108798

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195108798.001.0001

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Miraculous Powers and False Advertising

Miraculous Powers and False Advertising

(p.154) Twelve Miraculous Powers and False Advertising
The End of Magic

Ariel Glucklich

Oxford University Press

For a variety of reasons, the topic of magic has become dominated by speculation about supernatural causality and miraculous achievements and, following closely on the heels of these, mischiefmakers and scroundrels. Some magicians in Banaras boast about miraculous acts they have performed or cures they have effected. The magician's need to advertise locally, matched sometimes by a desire to impress a foreign scholar, is understandable. Miraculous claims therefore accompany magical practice as a matter of course. Furthermore, magic goes hand in hand with the paranormal by its very nature. A magician is successful if he can either demonstrate or effectively advertise miraculous accomplishments. The simplest reason for associating magic with miracles is not truly intrinsic to either, but it is predictable. It is simple public relations based on sound business thinking. But like all overzealous advertising, it carries risks. When the focus of research shifts to the “magical consciousness”—to the experience of magical interrelatedness—then the question of miracles becomes irrelevant.

Keywords:   magic, supernatural causality, miracles, Banaras, magicians, advertising, public relations, paranormal, magical consciousness

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