Magic, Judaism, Protestantism, Catholicism and Mary Douglas

Mary Douglas, the great anthropologist makes a great observation:

In a sense, magic was to the Hebrews what Catholicism was to the Protestants, mumbo-jumbo, meaningless ritual, irrationally held to be sufficient in itself to produce results without an interior experience of God.

Purity and Danger, p 22.

Comments

And amazingly, you can still find some Protestants who chant that mantra. I almost throttled a Fundamentalist kid in high school who kept asking me if I worshiped Mary even after I told him no several times.
Abu Daoud said…
Salamu 3aleyki ya Salome. I get frustrated with this some times and I'm not even RC! If anything, the Eastern Orthodox are even more centered around images and veneration and, well, physical objects.

I walk into churches these days and am disappointed if there is no icon to kiss. Sometimes during the procession at the Anglican church I want to reach out and touch the robe of the priest, which the Orthodox do all the time.

For what it's worth though, Douglas deconstructs this argument in the next paragraph. I think she actually became RC later in life herself, but I'm not sure.

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