Many religious scholars, especially in the Christian world, want to maintain
a clear distance between our theology of the supernatural and the popular
religious interests in the paranormal. And there clearly is a huge gap
between the Jewish and Christian belief in a sovereign God whose ways are
above our ways and a dabbling in magical means of making things happen.
But this kind of theological critique often ignores the real-life worries
that sometimes draw people into astrology, seances and the like. Our “high”
theologies often are rather inadequate for helping ordinary folks deal with
very basic issues that preoccupy them (and us!): problems in our intimate
relations, financial woes, complex health concerns. When the scholarly
community fails to find ways to provide practical guidance for those sorts
of issues, we should not complain if people turn in desperation to charts,
incantations and fortune telling.