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L'ésotérisme grand public : le Réalisme Fantastique et sa réception. Contribution à une sociologie de l'occulture

Abstract : In 1960, the publication of Matin des magiciens, written by Louis Pauwels and Jacques Bergier, marks the beginning of a literary phenomenon commonly known as “réalisme fantastique”. First fuelled by the review Planète then by numerous independant authors such as Robert Charroux, the réalisme fantastique enjoys great success in France, until the late 70’s.This thesis aims at defining réalisme fantastique and determining the reasons behind its success then sudden disappearance. Using Gérard Noiriel’s socio-historical methodology, we suggest an approach that falls at once within cultural and religious history and the sociology of religions, sciences and literature.If the development of réalisme fantastique may be understood using Pierre Bourdieu’s literary field theory, it can also be construed as a way of reshaping religion, which is a distinctive feature of post-war decades. Presenting a particular form of esotericism called “mainstream esotericism”, the réalisme fantastique constitutes a way of thinking lying between the cultic milieu, New Age and occulture.Because of this unusual status, we propose to see the réalisme fantastique as a cultural paradigm that offers an alternative to the prevailing model, governed by science. This paradigm develops its very own knowledge system and values by blending esotericism, religion and science.Finally, this study focuses on the impact of secularization on esotericism. By establishing a link with counter-culture, we seek to demonstrate how the esoteric rhetoric managed to develop itself within French culture, to the point of becoming nowadays an ‘ordinary’ element.
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Damien Karbovnik. L'ésotérisme grand public : le Réalisme Fantastique et sa réception. Contribution à une sociologie de l'occulture. Sociologie. Université Paul Valéry - Montpellier III, 2017. Français. ⟨NNT : 2017MON30086⟩. ⟨tel-01862492⟩

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