Ancient Jewish Magic: A History

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2008-04-07
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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This is a pioneering history of ancient Jewish magic, from the Second Temple to the rabbinic period. It is based both on the ancient magicians' own compositions (and products) in Aramaic, Hebrew, and Greek, and on the descriptions and prescriptions of non-magicians, in an effort to reconstruct a historical picture that is as balanced and nuanced as possible. The book's main focus is on the cultural make-up of ancient Jewish magic, with special attention paid to processes of cross-cultural contacts and borrowings between Jews and non-Jews and to inner-Jewish creativity. Another major issue is the place of magic within Jewish society at the time, contemporary Jewish attitudes to magic and the identity of its practitioners. Throughout, it seeks to explain the methodological underpinnings of all sound research in this demanding field, and to point out areas where further research is likely to prove fruitful.

Table of Contents

Jewish magic: a contradiction in terms?
Jewish magic in the Second Temple period
Jewish magic in late antiquity - the 'insider' evidence
Non-Jewish elements in late-antique Jewish magic
How 'Jewish' was ancient Jewish magic?
Magic and magicians in rabbinic literature
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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