Continuity and Innovation in the Magical Tradition


This volume brings together thirteen studies by as many experts in the study of one or more ancient or medieval magical traditions, from ancient Mesopotamia and Pharaonic and Greco-Roman Egypt to the Greek world, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. It lays special emphasis on the recurrence of similar phenomena in magical texts as far apart as the Akkadian cuneiform tablets and an Arabic manuscript bought in Egypt in the late-twentieth century. Such similarities demonstrate to what extent many different cultures share a “magical logic” which is strikingly identical, and in particular they show the recurrence of certain phenomena when magical practices are transmitted in written form and often preserve, adopt and adapt much older textual units.

Contributors include: Tzvi Abusch, Joachim Friedrich Quack, Jacco Dieleman, Fritz Graf, Christopher Faraone, Ithamar Gruenwald, Shaul Shaked, Dan Levene, Kocku von Stuckrad, Reimund Leicht, Yuval Harari, Gideon Bohak, and Alexander Fodor.

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Gideon Bohak, Ph.D Princeton 1994 is Professor of Jewish Culture and Religious Studies at Tel-Aviv University. He has published extensively on ancient Judaism and on Jewish magic, including Ancient Jewish Magic (Cambridge University Press, 2008).
Yuval Harari, Ph.D (1998) in Jewish Studies, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, is a senior lecturer of Hebrew Literature and Folklore Studies at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. He has published extensively on textual and cultural aspects of Jewish magic, including Early Jewish Magic – Research, Method, Sources (Ben-Zvi Institute Publications and The Bialik Institute Publications, 2010) (Hebrew).
Shaul Shaked is Professor emeritus in Iranian Studies and Comparative Religion at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Among his books are Dualism in Transformation (London 1994), Amulets and Magic Bowls (with Joseph Naveh, 3rd edition, Jerusalem 1998), Magische Texte aus der Kairoer GenizaM, so far 3 vols. (With Peter Schaefer, Tuebingen 1994-).
All those interested in ancient and medieval magic and astrology, in magical texts and artifacts, in the transmission of magical texts and practices in the Ancient Near East, in the Greco-Roman world, and in the Jewish, Christian and Muslim magical traditions.
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