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Magic: The Basics is a concise and engaging introduction to magic in world history and contemporary societies. Presenting magic as a global phenomenon which has manifested in all human cultures, this book takes a thematic approach which explores the historical, social, and cultural aspects of magic.
Key features include:
attempts to define magic either in universal or more particular terms, and to contrast it with other broad and potentially fluid categories such as religion and science;
an examination of different forms of magical practice and the purposes for which magic has been used;
debates about magic’s effectiveness, its reality, and its morality;
an exploration of magic’s association with certain social factors, such as gender, ethnicity and education, among others.
Offering a global perspective of magic from antiquity through to the modern era and including a glossary of key terms, suggestions for further reading and case studies throughout, Magic: The Basics is essential reading for anyone seeking to learn more about the academic study of magic.