Blurring The Line Between Magic And Religion

Jul 7, 2016

"Magic in Islam" by Michael Muhammad Knight
Credit Michael Muhammad Knight

People of faith will argue that magic and religion are not the same thing; magic is often condemned as dark and unsacred, while religion is characterized as morally sound and pure. In his new book “Magic in Islam” (Tarcher Perigee/2016), Michael Muhammad Knight resists the notion that the two are incompatible.

He argues that through looking at the histories of Islam, Christianity and Judaism, it is clear that the boundary between magic and religion has been blurred time and time again. He looks at examples including the use and interpretation of the Quran, astrology, and mythological figures of multiple religions.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Michael Muhammad Knight, a recent graduate of the doctoral program in Islamic Studies at UNC-Chapel Hill, about his new book.