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Legitimating New Age in India: Religion, Science and Magic Revisited


Kathinka Froystad


With the growing dominance of modern science, religious movements increasingly turn to science for legitimacy. This article examines five ways in which scientific legitimacy is constructed in the Indian New Age movement: scientific experiments, mimesis, use of doctoral titles, narrative entanglement, and analogies. Much of the persuasive power of science lies in the intricacy of scientific allusions and arguments, which give them a magical and sublime ‘underside’. If religion is construed as scientific in ways that have magic-effects, spiritual scientism allows us to reconceptualise the relation between magic, science, and religion.

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