The Myth of Disenchantment: Revenge of the Magicians – Jason Josephson-Storm

The Myth of Disenchantment: Revenge of the Magicians

We continue to examine the evolution of our collective worldviews, and the meeting point of Science and Spirit. Some define our modern age as one where objective science pushed out any belief in myths and magic, any ‘enchantment’. “Disenchantment is a foundational myth of the new human sciences that emerged during the nineteenth century. By treating magic and religion as anachronisms, anthropology and sociology reinforced the myth of disenchantment, while promoting their own claim to scientific status,” writes Jason Josephson-Storm. In The Myth of Disenchantment: Magic, Modernity and the Birth of the Human Sciences, Jason notes that historically, and contrary to the dominant narrative, attempts to suppress ‘enchantment’ have mostly failed, even within the sciences. We ask, what part of this is due to our surprisingly widespread experiences and encounters with the ‘mysteries’? What drives the divide between science and spirituality? How can we resolve this, and find harmony between our lived experience, and our personal and collective worldviews? What are the implications for finding that balance? Jason is also the grandson of Felicitas Goodman, founder of the Cuyamungue Institute, and we will indeed ask about her influence on his academic and personal life.

Jason Josephson-Storm, PhD. Chair & Associate Professor of Religions & Chair of Science & Technology Studies, Williams College