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|Received English translation of the German Entzauberung , a concept
preeminently introduced to social scientific discourse by Max Weber to
describe the character of modern, secularized society. Such literal
renderings as "de-magi-fication" or "de-mysteri-zation"
probably more accurately render the meaning in current American usage. At
one point, Weber described the condition as a world "robbed of
gods." Disenchantment does not mean simply that the world is no
longer seen as filled with angels and demons, but that the category
"mystery" is negatively valued: Mysteries are to be solved by
science, technology, or other this-worldly efforts. Modern people do not
wish to "enter into" mysteries but to conquer them; moderns
similarly are pleased when they can say, for example, that a particular
event or condition is "no longer mysterious." The term reenchantment
is a spinoff from disenchantment.
See also Modernism, Secularization, Max Weber
—William H. Swatos, Jr .
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