The religion of Tarot

Williams, Jessica (2021) The religion of Tarot. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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While Tarot cards are widely known as a fortune-telling tool, the practice of reading Tarot can also be understood as a spiritual practice. Tarot cards have undergone significant reinterpretations since their origins as a secular parlour game in the fifteenth century. Largely due to the influence of occult and alchemical thinkers of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, today Tarot has emerged as a mystical tool for divination, enlightenment, and spiritual self-help. This study seeks to understand the religious dimensions of Tarot for Tarot readers. Drawing upon the five dimensions of religiosity model developed by Rodney Stark and Charles Glock, this thesis reveals the inherent religiosity of Tarot reading for practitioners. However, this thesis also reveals the need for a more nuanced model of religion than that offered by Stark and Glock. The thesis argues that while the Stark and Glock model of religiosity can help reveal some of the spiritual dimensions of Tarot practice, its institutional bias fails to account for other important spiritual dimensions of Tarot religiosity.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 15008
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 135-140).
Keywords: Tarot, lived religion, New Age, dimensions of religiosity, vernacular religion
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Religious Studies
Date: January 2021
Date Type: Submission
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Stark, Rodney--Criticism and interpretation; Glock, Charles Y.--Criticism and interpretation; Tarot cards--Religious aspects; Occultism.

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