Thus it cannot be transmitted, except possibly by heredity. Also closely related to magic is religious supplication. The distinction between the two does not always correspond to the distinction between “approved” and “disapproved” or between “legitimate” and “illegitimate.” White magic is normally approved of; but black magic is sometimes approved of, while some other times disapproved of. In some societies, generally those associated with being either primitive or less developed compared with modern western civilisation, religious ceremonies include the ritual sacrificing of animal or even human life, albeit the more rare of the two, or contain beliefs that, when ignored, call for murder or other generally unacceptable moral breaches in the name of honour. (REF20) It has even been claimed by some that Jesus was a magician as he portrayed such traits as being able to perform miracles and healing the sick, acts often associated with magic or an otherworldly power. Both are means for the achievement of man’s purpose. Despite these slight differences in beliefs and practices, there is evidence to suggest that at some point in history, there did not exist a boundary between religion and magic, or if one did exist then it was barely visible. Magic is often regarded as a form of religion. Depending on the society in question, religion is often also excluded and not taken as acceptable reasoning for breaches or law or morals such as in the case of sacrifices or honour killings (REF10). Furthermore, Tylor defined religion as ‘belief in spiritual beings’ (REF25) and also magic also deals with spirits in some respect, when it does so, it refers to them as inanimate objects rather than sentient beings. Ex: Magic, like science, pursues practical ends, conceives that certain effects follow certain causes, takes an impersonal attitude towards causation, and has little to do with morality. Reference this. If a magician wants a medicine to bring the immediate effect of a cure, he says so. This displays a positive aspect of the two systems that is common and so clouds any set distinction between the two. Similarly, magic to ensure victory in war is ‘white’ even though it may harm the enemy. These formulas are, in a sense, magic. However, this view changed over centuries with church heretics now being labelled as witches and the prosecution of many of the accused taking place at the hands of the church authorities themselves. The relationship between magic and religion has been debated by anthropologists dating back to the 19th Century but a decision is yet to be reached as to whether there exists a fixed boundary between the two. Registered office: Venture House, Cross Street, Arnold, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, NG5 7PJ. He advocates the existence of magic without religion at some point in history and states that it is the belief in supernatural beings and their control over the world which causes the movement from the realm of magic to that of religion and thus separates the two (REF8). to keep themselves free from his bad influence. TOS4. The Maori Chieftains in New Zealand try to reinforce their authority by their control of black magic. Here the elements of faith and wishful thinking enter. Magic, on the other hand, is characterized as external, impersonal, and mechanical, involving technical acts of power. Therefore, when viewed as a provider of emotional comfort, both religion and magic fulfil the same function and so dismiss the idea of a fixed boundary existing between them. The magic implies that a definite end is being pursued. To export a reference to this article please select a referencing stye below: If you are the original writer of this essay and no longer wish to have your work published on the website then please: Our academic writing and marking services can help you! Both Tylor and Frazer ‘viewed magic and religion in primitive societies as beliefs and practices that attempted to interpret the world rationally and achieve worldly goals’. For example, feelings of awe, reverence, elevation, sublimation, and inspiration are experienced by the individuals with regard to the holy. (434[2411]). During the World War II the pilots used to carry in their planes some animals, articles of clothing, mystic numbers, etc., that were believed to give them luck. On the other hand, magic accomplishes its effect simply by automatic action. (REF2) The Church’s involvement in the prosecution of those believed to possess magic has changed over time due to public pressure and demand to take action. Therefore we can see that there exists great difficulty when attempting to define a fixed boundary between the two as the terms “Magic” and “Religion” are not subject to set definitions themselves. Most of the magical spells are spoken in normal, matter-of-fact voices. According to Kingsley Davis, magic and religion could be distinguished on the basis of the following: (i) the kind of ends pursued, (ii) the types of attitudes involved, (iii) the particular kind of supernaturalism required, and (iv) the pattern of behaviour exhibited. You can view samples of our professional work here.