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Re-enchantment and the popular imagination: fate, magic and purity

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Theorists have long argued that the world is becoming more secular as modernitys celebration of scientific and technological progress displaces religious systems from the centre of institutional and imaginative life. This assumption is increasingly untenable. All the worlds major religions see their support increasing. This continued vitality is due, in part, to the contradictory nature of modernitys pursuit of progress. The global reach of the risks attached to nuclear weapons and global warming have helped revive notions of fate. The communications networks that underwrite global capital also provide the organizational resources for new forms of fundamentalism. Advertisings incessant promotion of consumerism depends on belief in the transformative power of magic. Taking these three core cultural themes of fate, magic and purity as a focus, this article explores the forms that re-enchantment has taken within the popular media.
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Keywords: fate; fundamentalism; magic; media; networks; risk

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Loughborough University.

Publication date: 2008-06-01

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  • Northern Lights: Film and Media Studies Yearbook was first published in 2002 and places particular emphasis on film, television and new media. The yearbook, although carrying a theme each issue, welcomes a broad range of articles along with shorter review pieces.
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