Ancient Magic and Ritual Power

Ancient Magic and Ritual Power

Ancient Magic and Ritual Power

Ancient Magic and Ritual Power

Synopsis

This volume contains a series of provocative essays that explore expressions of magic and ritual power in the ancient world. The essays are authored by leading scholars in the fields of Egyptology, ancient Near Eastern studies, the Hebrew Bible, Judaica, classical Greek and Roman studies, early Christianity and patristics, and Coptology. Throughout the book the essays examine the terms employed in descriptions of ancient magic. From this examination comes a clarification of magic as a polemical term of exclusion but also an understanding of the classical Egyptian and early Greek conceptions of magic as a more neutral category of inclusion. This book should prove to be foundational for future scholarly studies of ancient magic and ritual power. This publication has also been published in hardback (no longer available).

Excerpt

The essays in this volume derive from the conference on “Magic in the Ancient World,” held in August 1992 at the University of Kansas. We would like to acknowledge the support provided for this conference by the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Kansas, the Kansas School of Religion, the College Lecture Fund, and the Office of International Studies and Programs. Additional encouragement for the conference and the volume has been offered by the Coptic Magical Texts Project of the Institute for Antiquity and Christianity, Claremont Graduate School. Through the Coptic Magical Texts Project and the Institute, the J. W. and Ida M. Jameson Foundation and the Board of Higher Education of the United Methodist Church have given financial assistance, as has the Griset Chair Fund of Chapman University. The essays themselves, diverse as they are, incorporate the different approaches and even the different styles typical of the disciplines represented. We have allowed some of this diversity to remain, and readers may anticipate that they will have the opportunity to savor the flavors of the several disciplines.

Marvin Meyer
Professor of Religion, Chapman University
Director, Coptic Magical Texts Project, Institute for Antiquity
and Christianity

Paul Mirecki
Associate Professor of Religious Studies, University of Kansas . . .

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