The cross and catholics: magic or religion?

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McHenry, Bryon K.
Robarchek, Clayton

The goal of this thesis is to understand the difference between Catholic “popular religion” and so-called “official religion” of the Roman Catholic Church, as it relates to the use of charms, and whether such usage is magic or religion. The “official religion” is belief and practices endorsed by the officials of the Holy See in Vatican City, “popular religion” is religion practiced without regard to “official” teachings or doctrines. I will look at criteria that qualify a religion in its practice as “popular” or “official.” I will then apply this to what I have observed in Wichita. It was concluded that the uses of charms by Catholics in Wichita were used as religious artifacts and not as magical charms. These religious artifacts were used in the proscribed manner of the Catholic Church and hence are “official.”

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Thesis (M.A.)--Wichita State University, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Dept. of Anthropology.