Fact a Day: October 17th - Ankerberg Theological Research Institute, John Ankerberg Show

Fact a Day: October 17th

The Facts on The Occult (Harvest House, 1991), p. 7


Why is the subject of the occult important and how influential is it?


In the last 30 years America has experienced a major revival of the occult. One of the great modern scholars on comparative religion and occultism, the late Mircea Eliade of the University of Chicago, observes in his Occultism, Witchcraft and Cultural Fashions: “As a historian of religion, I cannot fail to be impressed by the amazing popularity of witchcraft in modern Western Culture and its subcultures. However…the contemporary interest in witchcraft is only part and parcel of a larger trend, namely, the vogue of the occult and the esoteric….”*

Eliade is not alone in his assessment. Seminal author and authority on occultism Colin Wilson comments in The Occult: A History, “It would probably be safe to say that there are now more witches in England and America than at any time since the Reformation.”* C. A. Burland, a science and natural history writer with the British Museum for 40 years, acknowledges that “at no time in the history of civilization has occultism and its various forms been so widely practiced as today.”* Noted theologian Dr. Merrill Unger (Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University), the author of four books on the occult, confesses, “The scope and power of modern occultism staggers the imagination.”*

*For full documentation, please see The Facts on The Occult.


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