• Jack Barbalet


Weber claims that Calvinism ‘liquidated’ magic while Confucianism, he says, is magic-tolerant. The chapter explores Weber’s discussion of the importance of magic in the evolution of religion and considers his treatment of magic in both Calvinism and Confucianism. The chapter demonstrates that Weber’s claims regarding Calvinist demagicalization are made without reference to Reformation Calvinist obsessions with satanic witchcraft, in which the reality of magic is accepted and expressed in the witch hunts that lasted more than a century. Through a careful analysis of Calvin’s own writings it is shown that although Calvinism opposed magic, it did not eliminate it, but accepted it as an element of the religious force-field. The chapter makes an original contribution, providing a major challenge to Weber’s Protestant Ethic thesis.


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© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jack Barbalet
    • 1
  1. 1.Australian Catholic UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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