New PDF release: Ancient Magic and Ritual Power

By Marvin W. Meyer, Paul Allan Mirecki

This quantity features a sequence of provocative essays that discover expressions of magic and formality energy within the old international. The essays are authored by way of top students within the fields of Egyptology, historic close to jap reviews, the Hebrew Bible, Judaica, classical Greek and Roman experiences, early Christianity and patristics, and Coptology. through the booklet the essays learn the phrases hired in descriptions of historical magic. From this exam comes a rationalization of magic as a polemical time period of exclusion but additionally an knowing of the classical Egyptian and early Greek conceptions of magic as a extra impartial classification of inclusion. This e-book should still turn out to be foundational for destiny scholarly reviews of historic magic and formality strength. This book has additionally been released in hardback (no longer available).

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Example text

This is a sentence about ritual speech which, by virtue of its inclusion in the later Passover Haggadah, has itself become ritual speech. Some early Christians developed the utterly rhetorical metaphor of sacrifice as an important component of their narrative understanding of Jesus' death. Over time, the Christian use of the sacrificial analogy was extended to characterize a whole host of human phenomena by traditions that never "actually" sacrificed, including the sacrament of marriage post-Vatican II.

4,230. 11,741. 22,94; Odysseus: Od. 1,261; the suitors: Od. 2,329. 27 Odysseus: Od. ; Plato: Rep. 426 B; see also Pindar, Pyth. 4,217; Sophocles, Aias 582. 28 Pindar, Pyth. 4,213ss. See now also V. Pirenne-Delforge, "L'iynge dans le discours mythique et les procédures magiques," Kernos 6 (1993): 277-89. * * * Thus, the introduction of magos and related terms during the 5th century BCE and its consequent success indicates a deep and radical change in the attitude towards magic. Even more, this change results from the constitution of what will finally be, in our Western cultural matrix, the province of magic as opposed to religion.

The "evidence" adduced by the native accuser is held by the scholar to be secondary, and usually utterly conventional. This has led to a noticeable bias in the literature towards the powerless. But this is an unwarranted simplification. While the accusation of "magic" may well be a power ploy that marginalizes the accused, the accusation may equally well be between members of elite groups (as the practice of "magic" may well be directed by the marginal against elites). One cannot have it both ways.

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