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종교 탐방




I. Introduction

Occultism encompasses a wide range of theories and practices involving a belief in and knowledge or use of supernatural forces or beings. Such beliefs and practices--principally magical or divinatory--have occurred in all human societies throughout recorded history, with considerable variations both in their nature and in the attitude of societies toward them. In the West the term occultism has acquired intellectually and morally pejorative overtones that do not obtain in other societies where the practices and beliefs concerned do not run counter to the prevailing worldview.

1. 개요

초자연적인 힘이나 존재에 대한 믿음·지식·관행을 포함한 광범위한 이론과 실천의 체계.





Occult practices centre on the presumed ability of the practitioner to manipulate natural laws for his own or his client's benefit; such practices tend to be regarded as evil only when they also involve the breaking of moral laws. Some anthropologists have argued that it is not possible to make a clear-cut distinction between magic--a principal component of occultism--and religion, and this may well be true of the religious systems of some nonliterate societies. The argument does not hold, however, for any of the major religions, which regard both natural and moral law as immutable.

주로 마술 또는 점술의 형태로 나타나며, 역사적인 기록을 살펴볼 때 이 세상의 모든 사회에서 발견되고 있다. 신비술은 시술자 자신 또는 그의 고객의 이익을 위해서 자연법칙을 조작하려는 목적으로 행해지는데, 어떤 인류학자들은 마술과 종교 사이를 명확하게 구분할 수 있는 기준이 없다고 주장하기도 한다.

Those aspects of occultism that appear to be common to all human societies--divination, magic, witchcraft, and alchemy--are treated in depth below. Features that are unique to Western cultures, and the history of their development, are treated only briefly.

 여러 사회에 공통적으로 행해지고 있는 신비술로는 연금술(alchemy)·점성술(astrology)·점술(divination)·마술(magic)·마법(witchcraft) 등이 있다.

The Western tradition of occultism, as popularly conceived, is of an ancient "secret philosophy" underlying all occult practices. This secret philosophy derives ultimately from Hellenistic magic and alchemy on the one hand and from Jewish mysticism on the other. The principal Hellenistic source is the Corpus Hermeticum the texts associated with Hermes Trismegistos, which are concerned with astrology and other occult sciences and with spiritual regeneration.

서구 신비술의 전통은 '비의철학'(秘儀哲學)에 연원을 두고 있는데, 비의철학은 헬레니즘 사회의 마술 및 연금술과 유대 신비주의에 뿌리를 두고 있다.

The Jewish element is supplied by the Kabbala (the doctrine of a secret, mystical interpretation of the Torah), which had been familiar to scholars in Europe since the Middle Ages, and which was linked with the Hermetic texts during the Renaissance. The resulting Hermetic-Kabbalistic tradition, known as Hermetism, incorporated both theory and magical practice, with the latter presented as natural, and thus good, magic, in contrast to the evil magic of sorcery or witchcraft. (see also Index: Hermeticism)

 헬레니즘 사회에서는 헤르메스 트리스메지스토스와 관계가 있는 〈연금술 문서 Corpus Hermeticum〉가 연금술의 원전이고, 유대 사회에서는 토라를 신비주의적으로 해석한 카발라가 중요한 원전이 되고 있다.

Alchemy was also absorbed into the body of Hermetism, and this link was strengthened in the early 17th century with the appearance of Rosicrucianism, an alleged secret brotherhood that utilized alchemical symbolism and taught secret wisdom to its followers, creating a spiritual alchemy that survived the rise of empirical science and enabled Hermetism to pass unscathed into the period of the Enlightenment.

 이 2가지 전통은 연금술을 낳게 되는데, 연금술은 17세기에 생겨난 장미십자회와 연합하여 일종의 영적인 연금술의 형태로 계몽주의 시대의 미신박해를 헤쳐나오게 된다.

During the 18th century the tradition was taken up by esoterically inclined Freemasons who could not find an occult philosophy within Freemasonry. These enthusiasts persisted, both as individual students of Hermetism and, in continental Europe, as groups of occult practitioners, into the 19th century, when the growth of religious skepticism led to an increased rejection of orthodox religion by the educated and a consequent search for salvation by other means--including occultism.

 18세기에 신비술은 밀교적인 성격을 가진 프리메이슨 운동으로 나타났고, 19세기에는 정통 종교에 흥미를 잃은 사람들에게 구원의 한 방편으로 행해졌다.

But those interested turned to new forms of occultism rather than to the Hermetic tradition: on the one hand to Spiritualism--the practice of alleged regular communication between the living and the spirits of the dead through a living "medium"--and on the other to Theosophy--a blend of Western occultism and Eastern mysticism that proved to be a most effective propagator of occultism but whose influence has declined markedly over the last 50 years. (see also  Blavatsky, Helena Petrovna, Theosophical Society)

이러한 흐름의 일환으로 현대에서는 영매를 통하여 죽은 이의 영과 통교하는 강신술(spiritualism), 서양의 신비술과 동양 신비주의의 혼합형인 신지학(theosophy) 등이 새로운 형태의 신비술로 나타나게 되었다.

Indeed, despite the 19th-century revival, occult ideas have failed to gain acceptance in academic circles, although they have occasionally influenced the work of major artists, such as the poet William Butler Yeats and the painter Wassily Kandinsky, and occultism in Europe and North America seems destined to remain the province of popular culture. 

 오늘날 신비술은 19세기보다는 덜 행해지고 있다. 그러나 W. B. 예이츠, W. 칸딘스키 등의 예술에서 여전히 그 흔적을 찾아볼 수 있다.

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