Thursday, 4 May 2017

Bernd-Christian Otto is going to present a working paper on '„Magie im Islam“ aus diskurstheoretischer Perspektive'

The present paper functions as an „afterword“ to a German anthology on „Magie im Islam“, edited by Sebastian Günther and Dorothee Lauer (Göttingen University), to be submitted to Brill later this year. A TOC to this volume is attached, and parts of my contribution discusses papers of said volume, which I have read before writing the piece. The core of the argument, however, is devoted to demonstrating that the discursive approach towards “magic” (or “Western learned magic”) which I have pursued in several other publications, can also be applied to the study of „magic in Islam“. The article is thus divided into three chapters: the first attempts to demonstrate that a discursive approach towards Islamic material deemed “magic” is not only possible but yields various analytical advantages, such as overcoming Eurocentric stereotypes on the matter, or re-reading some Islamic sources that deal with “magic” (arab. siḥr). The second chapter aims at embedding Islamic material within the much wider history of “Western learned magic”, thereby de-contextualizing said material, which leads to asking different questions that inevitably arise from a diachronic, comparative, and necessarily interdisciplinary perspective. The focus here lies on ritual dynamics from a longue-durée perspective, that is, on continuities and discontinuities as well as transformations and innovations. The third chapter devotes some final considerations to the question of whether – and to what degree – Islamic “learned magic”, particularly in the medieval Era, was actually “deviant”, or whether there were considerable social spaces of liberal attitudes, legalized practice or even “institutionalization” (e.g. in schools).

No comments:

Post a Comment