Welcome to Magical Christianity

under construction

Magical Christianity is the term I developed to describe the use of Christian symbols, artifacts, and arts by individuals and groups who may not necessarily subscribe to the tenets of specific Christian relgions. Many people may have a St. Christopher's Medal in their car or burn a candle to St. Jude. A visit to an inner-city herbal shop or a suburban ghost-hunting center may turn up saints' cards, icons, incense, anointing oils, CDs of Celtic Christian music, and other items which may be considered sacramentals by the Roman and Orthodox churches.

Individuals acquiring these tools to expand their own spiritual quest and practice may not be baptized or members of a church, but find these items advance their own growth and give them a sense of connectedness, safety, and hope in a disturbing world. By "magical," I do not necessarily mean white or black magic as it is conventionally imagined, nor do I mean associated with positive alternative practices such as those of Wicca and Paganism. Very often, those who acquire these sacramentals and use them in home altars and as talismans against harm may have a different religion or may even be without religion, as in the case of the "Nones," the one-fifth of young people who do not identify with any particular religious faith (New York Times 10-10-12). Individuals raised in more austere Protestant environments may find the influx of color, intuition, sensation, and sound of these items enriching to their own developing spiritual sensibilities. At the same time, Magical Christianity in no way disparages or harms established liturgical churches which have traditionally incorporated many of these elements in their worship.

Magical Christianity encompasses all socio-economic groups and is an indicator of the growth of Blended Faith, another concept I have written about (religiousscholar.com/blended faith). Humans crave visual symbols and tools as they delve into their own consciousness and explore the relationship between the material world and the world of spirit. It is no coincidence that images taken from science (phenomena in deep space, microbiology, etc.) often reveal symmetries found in so-called holy artifacts. Magical Christianity--comforting and healing for those who embrace it--also connects traditional religious materials and rituals with the energy and structure of the material world.

I hope to write more about this development in the months ahead.

Posted on Sunday, October 7, 2012 at 07:32PM by Registered CommenterLinda Brown Holt | CommentsPost a Comment