In more recent years, however, sociologists and historians of religion have begun to see the occult as a significant manifestations OF modernity. Predictions about the imminent demise of religion have turned out to be premature, to say the least; and it has become ever more evident that esoteric or occult currents are a permanent feature of modern culture. They have been around since the birth of modernity, and whether we like it or not, it seems that they are here to stay. In current scholarship, the occult is therefore no longer perceived as a marginal and irritating anomaly - something that ‘should not be there’- but, on the contrary, as a highly important manifestation of how religion is continuously being reinvented under new historical and social conditions.
— Western Esotericism. A guide for the perplexed. W. J. Hanegraaff