Between magic and religion: Sympathetic magic in the world of the sages of the Mishnah and Talmud

Meir Bar-Ilan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

If familiarity with magic was previously associated with curiosities lacking real value, it now seems generally agreed that knowledge of magic in the past is but one aspect of knowledge of religion and also of the society in which magic is investigated. This condition also applies to magic in the world of the Talmudic sages, a broad culture of many years with many receptors for magic. Two of the questions that have occupied investigators for over a century concern the extent to which the sages of the Mishnah and Talmud were participants in magic and the issue of whether or not there was a gap between religion and magic in antiquity. The thrust of the following treatment is to add to this subject the investigation of Judaism in antiquity through textual analysis and methodological examination of the problems facing the student of the sources.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)383-399
Number of pages17
JournalReview of Rabbinic Judaism
Volume5
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2002

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