"A World Ever More Enchanted"- Peter Jackson

« A World Ever More Enchanted: Modernity Makes Magic in 21st Century Southeast Asia » by Peter Jackson, Australian National University, Guest Professor at MSH-ULB

Recorded at the Université libre de Bruxelles (MSH-ULB) on May 14, 2018. _ An event organized by:

EASt - East Asian Studies - http://msh.ulb.ac.be/equipes/east/

STRIGES - Structure de recherche interdisciplinaire sur le genre, l’égalité et la sexualité - http://msh.ulb.ac.be/equipes/striges/

CHANGE - China Academic Network on Gender https://change.hypotheses.org/ _ ABSTRACT The failure of Weberian sociology of religion to predict the global rise of diverse new forms of religious expression has been a major theme in religious studies and the anthropology of religion in recent decades. Many critiques of 20th century sociology of religion have focused on the failure of the “secularisation thesis” to explain the rise of fundamentalist movements within world religions. Somewhat less attention has been paid to the ways in which the diversity of new supernatural cults across mainland Southeast Asia also challenges Weber’s account of the supposed “disenchantment” of the world in the face of processes of “rationalisation”. I argue that the many new forms of ritual that have emerged outside of mainstream religious traditions in Southeast Asia require much more than a critique of the view that modernity produces disenchanted social imaginaries. Rather, I contend that modernity needs to be viewed as actively producing “magic” or enchanted social, cultural and political worldviews in early 21st Southeast Asia. Drawing on analyses of the separate impacts of neoliberal capitalism, visual media, social network cultures of the Internet, and conservative political trends on religious expression in mainland Southeast Asia, I offer an account of early 21st century modernity as a convergence of processes that, operating together, may incite new forms of enchantment as well as novel ritual practices and movements.