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Religio-Magical Phenomena and Power, Prediction, and Control

Author(s): David F. Aberle


Source: Southwestern Journal of Anthropology, Vol. 22, No. 3 (Autumn, 1966), pp. 221-230
Published by: University of New Mexico
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3629371 .
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SOUTHWESTERN JOURNAL
OF ANTHROPOLOGY
VOLUME 22

NUMBER 3

AUTUMN

1966

RELIGIO-MAGICALPHENOMENA AND POWER,


PREDICTION, AND CONTROL
DAVID F. ABERLE
APPARENTLY DIVERSE TOPICS seemto be unitedby the
MANY
factthatthey
relate
tounpredictability
anduncontrollability,
andtoefforts

tocopewithunpredictability
anduncontrollability.'
Thesetopicsinclude
magic,
and
I
divination.
thatit is through
theuncharisma,
mana,
religion,
suggest
anduncontrollable
thatmanmostexperiences
in the
whether
predictable
power,
worldofnature
orofman,thatheendows
withpowerthatwhich
orthosewho
thatresults
from
theseexperiences,
andthat
helphimcopewiththehelplessness
dueconsideration
ofamounts
andkindsofunpredictability
anduncontrollability
of beliefs
andactsrelating
to supernatural
mayhelpto ordera variety
power.2
Thispaperwillbeginwithmagicandreligion,
dealwithcharisma
in moredeto othertopicssuchas manaanddivination.
tail,andturnbriefly
The relationship
theuse of magicand theunpredictable
between
and uncontrollable
wassetforth
in
his
famous
of
byMalinowski,
example lagoonand
sea
1948:
cf.
also
Parsons1949:57).For
deep fishing
(Malinowski
esp.13-14;
will
we
follow
in
as
the
useofnon-empirical
present
purposes
magic
Levy defining
1 Thispaperis a revision
ofonereadat theAmerican
Annual
Association
Anthropological
1964.I am grateful
to KathleenGoughAberleand Ray
Meetingsin Detroit,November,
discussions.
Hymanforhelpful
2 Although
thispaperdoesnottakea position
withSwanson(1960), it
fullycongruent
was stimulated
concern
of purposein sociallife,by his
withthe experiencing
by Swanson's
treatment
ofmanaandspirits,
andbyhisconception
of"primordial
andconstitutional
structures"
1960:esp.1-31,61-64,220-221).Swanson
thatall experiencing
of
(Swanson
appearstoconsider
derives
fromsocialexperience
I allowforthe
supernature
(Swanson1960:esp. 17-18),whereas
thatexperience
withthe naturalworld-specifically
withhumanly
unpossibility
significant
and unpredictability-may
also generate
of supernature.
LikeSwancontrollability
conceptions
an extensive
indebtedness
to Durkheim
son,I acknowledge
(1947). ThispaperalsoechoesRadcliffe-Brown
(1952) ondependence.
221

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222

SOUTHWESTERN JOURNALOF ANTHROPOLOGY

meanstoward
ends(Levy1952:243-244),
andwillfollow
Malinowski,
empirical
andLevyintheassumption
thatmagictendstobe usedwhere
Parsons,
empirical
ofprediction
withrespect
andcontrol,
knowledge
provides
inadequate
techniques
to significant
features
of humanlife.Thatis,notevery
andununpredictable
controllable
eventwillbe enveloped
in magicalaction,because,
from
varying
culture
toculture,
theoutcome
ofsomeevents
minimal
for
have
may
significance
human
affairs.3
The relationship
between
actionand theunpredictable
andunconreligious
is notso immediately
trollable
of religious
We willuseLevy'sdefinition
evident.
actionas actionimmediately
to ultimate
oriented
ends,whichis to sayto ends
no
but
be
in
ofthemselves,
likeharmony,
held
to
and
requiring justification
good
the
in
and
Nirvana
Often
salvation, goodlife,
generalor
(Levy1952:244).
of
the
that
it
ritual
we
are
underscores
told
specific
morality
analyses religious
ofthesociety
oraffirms
thesolidarity
ofthegroup.Suchstatements
maywellbe
ofLevy'sdefinition
buta slight
outsomecommonalities
correct,
brings
rephrasing
between
as
ritualdealswiththe
defined
as
defined.
and
magic
religion
Religious
does
between
the
and
the
actual.
Not
normative
effort
only itrequire
discrepancy
inwhich
violatoliveup tothemoralcodeofanysociety,
isnosociety
butthere
tionsofthemoralcodearenotfoundfrom
timetotime(seeParsons1937:298,
Theseviolations,
ontheroleofeffort).
too,fall
396,467,719,andesp.409-450,
action
intotherealm
Thusreligious
ofwhatis unpredictable
anduncontrollable.
in
realm
the
normative
to
with
and
the
between
the
existential
attemptscope
gap
with
this
to
ofthemoralcode,whereas
the
most
for
magicattempts,
part, cope
in
of
realm
This
of
not
the
nature.
is
distinction,course,
gap
sharp.
absolutely
Mostmagicdealswithefforts
to attaingoodweather,
health,
goodcrops,
good
initsattempts
catches
offish,
toinjure
ontheseas,andsoon.Blackmagic,
safety
stillfallswithin
orkillpeople,
theareaofnature.
Thereis,however,
somemagic
thatattempts
to influence
thebehavior
of otherhumanbeings-tomakethem
fallin loveandto makethemgenerous
in trading
or reckless
in gambling,
for
ritual
not
much
to
And
some
does
so
close
the
example.
religious
attempt
gap
between
thenormative
andtheactualin humanaffairs,
as to explain
it awaytheevilof theworldbyreference
to thedecrees
as, forexample,
byexplaining
ofaninscrutable
god.
To return
to thecommon
of religion
features
andmagic,it is notso much
oftheancestors,
thatan ancestor
cult"underscores"
thesanctity
theimportance
ofworshipping
of
members
the
of
and
the
unit,as it is
them,
solidarity
kinship
ofMalinowski's
ofmagicis thatofVogtandHyman
3 The outstanding
theory
application
forMalinowski's
as well.It
at empirical
theory
(1959). It maywellbe thesoleeffort
support
is an extraordinary
pieceofwork.

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RELIGIO-MAGICAL PHENOMENA

223

smallandlarge,that
tocopewiththeperpetual
thatthecultattempts
conflicts,
life
within
the
and
feature
kinship
solidary monolithic
inevitably
supposedly
with
what
is uncertain
anduncontrollable.
deals
unit.Likemagic,
then,
religion
therealmof charisma
fromthepointof viewof unpreWe nextexamine
we willdefine
For
and
charisma,
dictability uncontrollability.present
purposes,
of offices
or of other
a
of
in itsmostgeneral
as
sense,
specialgift occupants
it is a
or experience.'
thatis notbasedsolelyon training
(Of course,
persons
necesin
the
and
not
view
of
the
actors
from
the
of
system
point
"specialgift"
are
of
from
the
view
the
Whenever
of
persons regarded
observer.)
sarily
point
with
as endowed
as havingsupernatural
then,theyare to be regarded
power,
the
other
of
charisma
as
well.
On
there
are
other
hand,
charisma,
styles
although
ifthesupernatural
theyuseandcouldbe
solelyintheprocedures
powerinheres
do
thepractitioners
foranyonewholearned
thoseprocedures,
equallyeffective
the
that
resides
In
to
the
nothavecharisma. moregeneral
terms,
degree
power
intheperthatit resides
inthetechniques,
is diminished;
tothedegree
charisma
it
is
But
is
not
ofan office,
charisma magnified.
sonortheoccupant
onlythose
Thoserewhoarebelieved
to possesssupernatural
powerwhohavecharisma.
to otherswho
gardedas havingspecialskillsthattheycannotcommunicate
withcharisma:
butimportantly,
endowed
lackthe"gift"are, tautologically,
thosewhoknowthemysteries
ofcerchessplayers,
athletes,
champion
champion
taincrafts,
thosecapableof specialmental
states,leadersof massmovements,
withspecialendowments.
others
andmany
leaderas delineated
Letus beginwiththecharismatic
byWeberandmove
unofoffice.
The charismatic
leaderis an anti-traditionalist,
to charisma
arising
His authority
to all rules"
dercrisisconditions.
is,in Weber'sphrase,
"foreign
ofunpredictability
heisa source
and
therefore,
(Weber1947:361).In onesense,
In
to
his
he
is
followers.
the
reducer
of
another,
however,
uncontrollability
in
of
action
of
the
situations
the
clarifier
ambiguity, wellspring
unpredictability,
ofaims,andso on.He reduces
inseveral
senses.
Purecharismatic
leadambiguity
ersarisewhereold interpretations
havelosttheirvitality
and wherenewones
either
or havenotbeenenunciated
havenotemerged
to disturbed
peoplein
terms.
The
charismatic
in
touch
with
the
leader,
meaningful
higherrealities,
thewillofthesupernatural
orthedrift
ofhistory,
vivifies
andclarifies
knowing
4 Cf. Weber1946:245,1947:358-359;
1963:2.My phrasing
similar
is, in manyrespects,
to all ofthese,
andclosest
to Weber(1947): "The term'charisma'
willbe appliedto a certain
of whichhe is setapartfromordinary
menand
qualityof an individual
personality
byvirtue
treated
as endowed
withsupernatural,
or at leastspecifically
or
superhuman,
exceptional
powers
The otherdefinitions
morethetreatment
of thecharismatically
as
endowed
qualities."
emphasize
their
forces.
deriving
giftsfrom
supernatural

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224

SOUTHWESTERN JOURNALOF ANTHROPOLOGY

newinterpretations
ofthesituation
orputsforth
hisownnovelinterpreexisting
tations.
Moreimportant,
insituations
where
doesnotprovide
empirical
knowledge
criteria
totellwhether
actionneedstobetakenornot,whether
itwillsucceed
or
howmanypeople,andwhichones,should
fail,whenit shouldbe undertaken,
act-in thesesituations
thecharismatic
leaderreduces
uncertainty
bybeingwillto
declare
for
or
a
and
orders."
ing
acting waiting,
bysettingdate, byissuing
As Weberrepeatedly
the
leader
must
a
succeed
of
out,
pointed
part thetime
to retain
To restate,
charisma.
a purecharismatic
leaderoperates
in a rule-less
situation.
It is notso muchthatit is rule-less
becausehe is charismatic,
as that
heis charismatic
itis rule-less."
because
He is thesource
ofunpredictability
and
and
the
reducer
of
both
for
his
him
who
uncontrollability
followers, perceive as
a power
on thisaccount-solongas he is at leastpartly
successful.
Weber's
name
is
with
associated
the
ofthepure
Although
commonly
concept
charismatic
he
also
of
charisma
as
an
of
all
and
leader,
thought
authority
aspect
notmerely
as a specialtypeof authority.
ThusParsonsfindsthatforWeber,
hasa charismatic
basisinsomeform"(Parsons
inWeber1947:76).
"allauthority
We willfollow
thiselement
inWeber'sthought
as
andmaintain
thatcharisma,
defined
is
to
attributed
we
will
here,
and,specifically,
offices;
persons
holding
is boundbyrules,
thelarger
thescopeofhis
arguethatthelesstheoffice-holder
the
the
The
with
charisma.
charisma
office-holders
of
decisions, greater
arbitrary
zero
when
is
a
there
rule
for
situation
authority
approaches
clearly
specified
every
thatmayconfront
thedecision
theonlydecisions
maker-when
he mustmake
inclassifying
arethosethatresult
orsituations
as falling
into
individuals,
actions,
oneof a setof categories,
withrulesas wellas to whathe mustdo afterthe
hasbeenmade.Sinceinfactitis impossible
classification
todevisea perfect
rule
in everyoffice
and hencecharisma,
book,thereis someinherent
arbitrariness,
where
is power
overother
butitoften
there
reaches
thevanishing
persons,
point.
Thisnotion
oftherelationship
ofcharisma
toarbitrariness
inwhatWeberwould
callrational-legal
structures
leadstotheexpectation
andtraditional
that-asexwouldhavemore
amples-theKabakaof Ugandain theearly19thCentury
I of Englandin thelate 16thCentury,
thanElizabeth
charisma
andthatthe
withnostandardized
ofthepresident
ofa smalluniversity
charisma
of
procedures
thanthatofthepresident
ofa largeandwell-bureauwouldbegreater
operation
fora modicum
in bothexamples
of successin the
cratized
allowing
university,

The LastTycoonwasaskedto explain


therole
5 Whentheheroof F. ScottFitzgerald's
in effect,
of theleader,he responded,
bysayingthattheleaderwas theonewhowouldmake
forchoosing
between
alternatives
whentherewereno rational
a decision
(Fitzgerald
grounds
1941:19,121).
a charismatic
leaderin a rule-less
6 That is notto saythatanyonecanbecome
situation,
newrulesalsorequire
charismatic
leaders.
butthatcrisissituations
requiring

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RELIGIO-MAGICALPHENOMENA

225

in question.
The testing
of this
of thekingdoms
and universities
operations
its
For
with
similar
of
has
offices
we
amounts
authority,
hypothesis complications.
to
to
have
charisma
their
those
least
bound
rules
the
attached
greatest
by
expect
occupants.
On theotherhand,if thescopeof arbitrariness
appliesto relatively
petty
varies
withtheamount
charisma
of
we
little
charisma:
affairs, expect
relatively
as
as
with
the
amount
of
well
arbitrariness.
however,
Probably,
authority
prooverthelabor,income,
havesomedegreeof control
videdthatsuperordinates
ofsubordinates,
andproperty
thevariability
is greater
byreasonofarbitrariness
thanbyreasonofscopeofauthority.
We might
therefore
thattheheads
expect
of somechiefdoms
andsimple
statesmight
havemorecharisma
thantheheads
of someelaborated
newsystems
and thattheheadsof relatively
states,
might
havemorethantheheadsofrelatively
orbureaucratized
traditionalized
systems.
It is interesting
thatWeberspeaksofmana,insofar
as it inheres
in persons,
as nothing
morenorlessthancharisma,
ofbothterms.
Whether
inhisdefinition
it
or notWeberintended
of mana,7
charismatic
office-holders
to be possessors
willbe arguedherethatmana--disembodied
andimpersonal
supernatural
power
-when attached
believed
to
to persons
oroffices,
is charisma,
andoffice-holders
holdsupernatural
The greater
thesuperpowerhavemanaandarecharismatic.
natural
thegreater
thecharisma.
power,
bydefinition,
(It shouldbe notedthat
in somecasesthecharismatically
office-holder
is thesymbol
of the
significant
theexecutive
areactually
vestedin a council.
This comstate,whereas
powers
butdoesnotradically
alterthepropositions
advanced
here.If thesymplicates
bolicfigure
isregarded
followers
as theoriginator
ofthedecisions,
byhisordinary
wewouldexpect
hischarisma
If
tobecorrespondingly
he
is
seenas symbol,
great.
as theactualoriginator,
andthecouncil
hischarisma
shouldbe correspondingly
Weber'sdiscussion
ofpurecharisma
itssuperdiminished.)
Although
emphasizes
natural
definition
does
Possessors
not.
of
validation,
my
supernatural
powerare,
is
but
charisma
also
found
in
and
in
cultural
charismatic,
definition,
by
positions
or
traditions
wheresupernatural
in
usual
sense
is
weak
absent:
in
power any
I
secular
to
the
term
structures.
would
restrict
"mana"
to
modern,
highly
prefer
instances
involving
supernatural
power.
7 " . . . Not everystonecan serveas a . .. sourceof magicalpower.Nor does every
havethecapacity
toachieve
stateswhichareviewed. . . as thepreconditions
theecstatic
person
forproducing
certain
effects
in meteorology,
and telepathy.
It is primarily
healing,
divination,
powersthathavebeendesignated
by suchspecialtermsas 'mana,'
... theseextraordinary
andtheIranian'maga'.... We shallhenceforth
theterm'charisma'
forsuch
'orenda,'
employ
Weberalsoviewed
thecharisma
extraordinary
powers"(Weber1963:2).It is notclearwhether
of office-holders
as identical
withmana,buthis comments
on Polynesian
"charismatic
princes"
at leastsuggest
thisview(Weber1963:38).

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226

SOUTHWESTERN

JOURNAL OF ANTHROPOLOGY

Sahlins(1958) has shownthat,with


Examplesare againappropriate.
withthepower
ofchiefs
varies
minor
themana-taboo
directly
complex
exceptions,
thatthe
indicates
of thechief.His analysis
of Polynesian
poweralso clearly
in arbitrary
and oftensuddenactions,
chief'spoweris likelyto be manifested
The arbitrary
rather
thanin elaborate
codesand bureaucratized
procedures.
forearly
ofcomment
beena matter
actions
oftheEastAfrican
kingshaveoften
and thesesamekingsare clearly
observers
and foranthropologists,
European
withan elaborate
mana-taboo
imbued
complex."
In secular,
is not,in anyliteral
modem
thecharismatic
office-holder
systems,
withmanaora mana-taboo
certain
sense,endowed
analogues
although
complex,
conof physical
canbe found:in somecases,andin somecontexts,
avoidance
souvenir-hunttactwiththeoffice-holder;
in others,
efforts
at physical
contact;
Moreimportant,
thecharisma
of office
however,
ing;andiconophilia.
appears
in attributions
of near-perfect
It
wisdom,
love,majesty,
etc.,to thesefigures.
shouldbe notedthatcharisma
is onlyin parta product
of theamountof
forinparticular
It inheres
structures.
arbitrary
decision-making
provided
political
inpartinthesituations
thatthesestructures
confront.
Otherthings
beingequal,
decithatfacestableand familiar
situations
do notrequire
systems
innovating
sionstothedegree
thatisrequired
thatconfront
ofchange.
situations
forsystems
inhighly
bureaucratized
ortraditionalized
Hence,evenoffice-holders
may
systems
as theymust
findscopeforjudgment
anddecisions
notboundbyrulesinsofar
if they
theircharisma,
In thiswaytheymayincrease
copewithnewsituations.
seizetheoccasion.
term.I am usingit as a
Weberinsisted
thatcharisma
was a value-free
or
whenthecharismatic
neutral
one.We mayspeakofpositive
charisma
person
and negative
office-holder
is valuedby thosewhoendowhimwithcharisma,
headsof modemstatesare
charisma
whenhe is disvalued.
Thus,charismatic
valuedby
within
the
valued
state,butnegatively
positively
bymanypersons
whofeel
state
another
members
of
the
state
and
within
somealienated
by
people
be
valuedfigure
state.Sucha negatively
threatened
may described,
bythefirst
as
terms:
orliterally,
bythosewhoopposehim,inquasi-religious
metaphorically
or as a pretheDevilhimself,
of theanti-Christ,
a livingembodiment
devilish,
or diabolically
Hitleris a casein point,but
clever,
clever,
enemy.
ternaturally
theGandakingappears
"In thefieldof publicritual,
Mairsaysspecifically,
8 Although
church"(1962:221),
fortheupkeepof an established
monarch
almostas a secular
responsible
of seculargovernment,
"it is also interesting,
though
shealsocomments,proposthegrowth
,a thattheritualof kingship
wheretheking
is more,notless,elaborate
notperhaps
surprising,
is theheadofa state"(1962:232).

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RELIGIO-MAGICALPHENOMENA

227

there
aremanyother
instances.
andparenthetically,
it is as difficult
Interestingly
topersuade
theopponents
ofsucha manthathelacksnegative
thathe
charisma,
is reallystupidand blundering,
notfiendishly
as
it
is
to
his
clever,
persuade
that
he
lacks
that
is
he
dishonest
and
shortcharisma,
proponents
positive
really
notfaithful
andwise.9
sighted,
The following
fromthisconsideration
of charisma
of
emerge
propositions
is associated
withanyoffice
notwholly
charisma
bound
office.
(1) Bydefinition,
andnooffice
canbewholly
boundbyrules.(2) Thevariation,
however,
byrules,
is fromalmost
no charisma
to a greatdeal. (3) Charisma
with
variesdirectly
withpower.Office-holders
and directly
are, withincertain
unpredictability
uncontrollable
becausetheyhavepower.(4) Becausemanychiefdoms
limits,
and protoand primitive
stateshavea rather
for
widerangeof arbitrariness
theirheads,thereis oftenmorecharisma
invested
in suchoffices
thanin the
similar
offices
ofmoretraditionalized
orders
in largerstates.
andbureaucratized
thanthetendency
ofsupernatural
tocompensate
forrela(5) This,rather
power
tiveweakness
ofnatural
fortheelaboration
ofsupernatural
power,
mayaccount
inchiefdoms,
someofthe
states,
and,forthatmatter,
power
proto-states,
primitive
in thesituation
thatconfronts
a system
greatagrarian
empires.
(6) Variation
alsooperates
tocreate
variation
inthecharisma
ofoffice-holders.
Insofar
as
(7)
charisma
is viewed
as supernaturally
withmanainsofar
as
based,it is identical
manainheres
inpersons.
As
in
the
of
and
charisma
takes
case
religion magic,
(8)
us intotherealmofuncertainty
anduncertainty
reduction.
We turnnowto a different
the
of
use
whatis reallyunpredictable
topic:
and uncontrollable,
buttrival,
to copewithwhatis reallyunpredictable
and
but
This
is
true
in
the
realm
of
divinauncontrollable,important.
particularly
it involves
out"whathashappened
butwasunwitnessed
tion,whether
"finding
the
of
lost
or
the
of
future
events.
Omensare
(e.g., finding
objects),
foretelling
of thischaracter:
birdsflying,
black
and
other
are
thunder, cats, many
things
trivial
andunpredictable,
buttheyprovide
of
to
events
It
is
come.
graveportent
ofinterest,
that
not
the
external
and
and
uncontrolhowever,
only
unpredictable
andunpredictable
anduncontrollable
eventis usedtothis
lable,buttheinternal
end.Sneezes,hiccups,
ear noises,evenflatulence,
and erection
are
eructation,
usedas omens
invarious
cultures.
and
the
So aredreams,
latter
unfits, trances,
and uncontrollable
fortheordinary
or nottheyare
predictable
man,whether
forthevirtuoso.
The variousdrugstatesthathavebeenusedfordivinatory
sharethecharacteristic
thatthedrugexperience
is notpredictable,
as
purposes
usersofdaturaandpeyote
willtestify.
I suggest
thatthere
is a "power"
inthese
toAlbert
C. Spaulding
fordiscussions
onthispoint.
9 I amindebted

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228

SOUTHWESTERN JOURNALOF ANTHROPOLOGY

becausetheycannot
be constrained-that
anduncontrolthings
unpredictability
are
We
in
find
culture
after
in ourown
them,
culture,
lability power.
certainly
for
culture
to
more
us
clues
about
used
other,
except hyper-rational
beings,
give
will
but
events:
am
I
who
what
unknown
is
sick,
me,
important,
why
bewitching
in
will
the
stock
market
or
down?
happen mymilitary
campaign,
go up
In thisconnection
wemight
notethatin manycultures
theveryluckytake
ona positive
the
a
charisma.
and
charisma,
veryunluckynegative
If wereturn
to divination,
it might
be expected
thatthosewhodivinewill
It
be charismatic
becausetheyreduceuncertainty
uncertainty.
bymanipulating
of
the
is notthatsimple.
the
is
a
that
the
To
person,
degree
manipulation gift
as in thecaseoftrance
ortheinterpretation
of complex
orvision,
patterns-of
cracksin scapulae,and so on, to thatdegreethesepersons
dreams,
entrails,
in
inheres
of uncertainty
Wherethemanipulation
havecharisma,
bydefinition.
ortechnique,
as inthrowing
theevent
etc.,theuserdoes
chickens,
dice,poisoning
at all if
nothavecharisma.
theuserneednotbe a specialist
Indeed,sometimes
is suffiandtheinterpretation
thetechnique
sufficient
provides
unpredictability
fowloracle(Evans-Pritchard
as in theAzandepoisoned
1937).
simple,
ciently
learns
in thehandsof whoever
are efficacious
And wherelearnedtechniques
andcuring
as insomeforms
ofweather
them,
magic,
magic,
magic,
agricultural
theusereventhough
a specialist,
is notcharismatic.
thenmanamaybe attached
Butif itis thetechnique
alonethatis efficacious,
to it.Thatis thecasefortheAzandepoisonoracleandrubbing
board,andto
rather
extent
andwordsofNavajochants
a veryconsiderable
fortheapparatus
thetechniques
thanthechanter.
events
usedfordivination,
Thus,theuncertain
and
of divination,
and thetechniques
of magic-allinvolving
unpredictability
or
or
in
reduction
and
bothuncontrollability,
unpredictabilityuncontrollability,
If so, thepowerinheres
alsoinvolve
mana.Finally,
thegodsmaybe implored.
in thegods,although
a powerful
or a charismatic
sometimes
technique
figure
mustbe usedtoreachthegods.
inheres
which
tostatetheconditions
under
Thispaperwillnotattempt
power
in theperson,
theevent,
orthesupernatural
thetechnique,
nor,reverting
being,
underwhichwe find
the conditions
to our earlierdiscussion
of charisma,
secular
charismatic
charismatic
with
or
figures.
power merely
figures supernatural
with
contact
that
is
This papersuggests,
then, power experienced
through
which
or
with
that
contact
andthrough
whatisunpredictable
anduncontrollable,
anduncontrollable.
thosewhoseemto copewithwhatis unpredictable
Magicis
endswhenempirical
usedtotrytoachieve
a technique
techniques
proempirical
is
that
with
the
action
deals
and
videinadequate
control;
religion
prediction

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RELIGIO-MAGICALPHENOMENA

229

andthe
thenormative
anduncontrollable
inevitable,
gapbetween
unpredictable,
otherpeople
are unpredictable,
do things
existential
order;charismatic
figures
techin spiteof lackof information;
cannotdo,andforcedecisions
divinatory
and
theunpredictable.
topredict
Power,
prediction,
niquesusetheunpredictable
in all of these.Justas Vogtand Hyman(1959) showed
control
areinvolved
water
of striking
thatfrequency
varieswiththeuncertainty
of water-witching
in amountof
at a givenlevel,it shouldbe possibleto showthatvariations
withamounts
andkindsof unpreor in useof magicarecorrelative
charisma
It
is
in
such
variation
that
theproofof the
and
dictability uncontrollability.
be
advanced
here
should
sought.
propositions
BIBLIOGRAPHY

EMILE
DURKHEIM,
Ward
Forms
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PARSONS,TALCOTT

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in Primitive
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WEBER, MAX

1946 FromMax Weber:Essaysin Sociology(trans.anded. byH. H. Gerth


and C. WrightMills). New York: OxfordUniversity
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All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions