Chapter 14 Christian Spells and Manuals from Egypt

In: Guide to the Study of Ancient Magic
Jacques van der Vliet
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This chapter examines Coptic ritual texts, the history of their study, and the mechanics of the rituals themselves. Closely reviewing over a dozen texts, the chapter analyzes their “marked” character – their difference from everyday speech and writing – and the textual strategies that are used to achieve specific ritual goals. The chapter concludes by noting the critical questions that this corpus presents, from the diversity of the rituals themselves to the burden of magic/religion dichotomies.

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