Abracadabra! postmodern therapeutic methods: Language as a neo-magical tool

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This paper argues that a new genre of therapy has appeared in the arena of contemporary spiritual alternative healing, which expresses an outlook never-before-seen in the history of medicine: postmodern therapy. Postmodern therapeutic methods (PTMs) express a popularization of postmodernist philosophy in regards to language’s role in the therapeutic process, expressing a novel cosmology. These methods are illustrated in the paper, and then analyzed in comparison to two other groups of methods: traditional/occult magic, and modern medicine. Finally, PTMs are characterized as neo-magic, bearing features similar to modernistic outlook on the one hand, and features similar to premodern magic outlook on the other hand. Thus, these new outlook demonstrate a double appropriation and rejection of perceptions viewed as contradictory – traditional magic and secular science.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-17
Number of pages15
JournalJournal for the Study of Religions and Ideologies
Issue number49
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:


  • Alternative spiritualities
  • CAM
  • Healing
  • Language
  • Magic
  • Modern philosophy
  • New Age
  • Postmodern thought
  • Spirituality
  • Therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Religious studies
  • Philosophy


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