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Magic, Science and Religion and Other Essays Paperback – March 1, 1992

ISBN-13: 978-0881336573 ISBN-10: 0881336572

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 274 pages
  • Publisher: Waveland Pr Inc (March 1, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0881336572
  • ISBN-13: 978-0881336573
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #161,018 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Bronislaw Malinowski (1884-1942), Anglo-Polish anthropologist, was born in what was then Austrian Poland of a long line of Polish nobility and landed gentry. He was educated at the Polish University of Cracow, from which he received his doctorate in 1908 with the highest honors of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He also studied at the University of Leipzig and later went on to London, where from 1910 he was associated with the London School of Economics. From 1914 to 1918 Dr. Malinowski was a member of the Robert Mond Expedition to New Guinea and North Melanesia, and it was the research done on this expedition that was later published in Argonauts of the Western Pacific. In later years Dr. Malinowski taught at the University of London, at Cornell University, and at Yale University.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Mike Salovesh on March 30, 2000
Format: Paperback
The title essay was probably the single most influential article written by Bronislaw Malinowski. This 1992 reprint edition from Waveland Press is most welcome. The ideas in this essay have become so commonplace in anthropology that nobody seems to find it necessary to refer back to their original source in Malinowski. The essay itself is lively and still sounds fresh some three-quarters of a century after it was written. Malinowski is convincing when he points to ways that magic, science, and religion are closely related. After reading his insights, it isn't possible to consider that any one of them should always be given priority over the other two in our ways of thinking about the universe. Read this book and you'll learn some of the reasons why people try to solve their problems by choosing magic, science, or religion according to the specific circumstances in which they find themselves.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By James F. Lawson on August 17, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Malinowski was a contemporary of Margaret Mead, but worked with a diff3ent set of Pacific Islanders. He discovered that the lines between the three fields were fluid and often overlapped. None of the three fields is black and white, there is a lot of gray at the borders. This is one of the most interesting books I've read. I highly recommend it.
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Format: Paperback
Malinowski's book, an extract from a larger volume, is a redefinition from a famous anthropologist of the cultic and ritual practices, beliefs, and traditions of primitive societies. In his treatment of this complex subject the author in his direct, authoritative, and provocative style, provides greater insight and illumination to Frazer's pioneering work in magic and religion.
Through the sacral traditions of these primitive peoples -morals, taboos, initiations, magic - Malinowski explains how and why these ancient traditions evolved for the proper functioning of the cult and why they were crucial to the survival of tribe, family and clan.
In this erudite and scholarly work the author not only dispels the ignorant notions that modern men have of primitive tribal folk but, more importantly, how in terms of gathering information and processing knowledge the primitive mind is not fundamentally unlike that of his modern counterpart.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Christophe FAURIE on April 17, 2008
Format: Paperback
An easy way to discover one of the most important ethnologists, and what ethnology is about: studying "primitive" societies to find out the rules that govern ours. Two examples: religions tell groups how to help members facing difficult times take decisions that won't be detrimental to the community; myths make a community's guiding principles unquestionable (in the 19th century when "nationalities" were invented they were given ancestors and histories).
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