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Scripted Forms of Magic Knowledge: Grimoires in the Matrix of Western Cultures

  • 2014-06-08
  • 2014-06-11
  • Jerusalem

An international conference organized by Dr Yuval Harari (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev), to be held at the Israel Institute for Advanced Studies in Jerusalem.

Scholars from around the world will come together for an intensive joint study of the phenomenon of grimoires in different cultural environments in the history of the West. Books of magic from antiquity to our day will be at the focus of the conference and will be studied from various points of view: their types, patterns, contents and designs; their place between popular and learned knowledge; their role in the transmission of knowledge within and between religious-cultural communities; their evidence concerning emic approaches to magic, its boundaries and its relation to other fields of knowledge; their social and cultural contexts and so forth.

For the first time experts on magic texts and cultures in Antiquity, early and medieval Christianity, Judaism (past to present), Islam, the Renaissance, the modern West, and new Age movements will jointly discuss the special(?), professional(?) genre/s(?) of scripted magic knowledge.


Sunday, June 8

16:00-16:45 Reception

16:45-17:00 Greetings and opening remarks

17:00-18:30 Session 1, Chair: Gideon Bohak
Shaul Shaked, Magic in Zoroastrianism: Formulae and Action
Richard Gordon, High Invocatory Competence in the Graeco-Egyptian Magical Papyri (PGrMag): Epithets, Schemata, Onomata Barbarika

18:30 Dinner

Monday, June 9

9:00-10:30 Session 2, Chair: Brouria Bitton-Ashkelony
Joeseph E. Sanzo, “Scriptural Magic” and the Reception History of the Bible: Biblical and Parabiblical Traditions in a Portfolio of Spells from Coptic Egypt
Andrea Barbara Schmidt, Syriac Christian Amulets: New Findings in the Caucasus

10:30-11:00 Coffee break

11:00-12:30 Session 3, Chair: Richard Gordon
Michael Swartz, How to Make an Ark: Introductions to Jewish Grimoires and the "Healing Event"
Alessia Bellusci, The Role of Sefer Ha-Razim in the Transmission of Divinatory and Oneiric Techniques within Jewish Culture

12:30-14:00 Lunch break

14:00-15:30 Session 4, Chair: Matthew Morgenstern
Ewa Balicka-Witakowska, Ethiopian Books of Magic
Dan Levene, The Lefafa Sedeq, also known as The Bandlet of Righteousness

15:30-16:00 Coffee break

16:00-17:30 Session 5, Chair: Jonathan Garb
Claire Fanger, Solicited Dreams, Monastic Prayer, and the Gift of Prophecy
Yuval Harari, Sleep Tied: On Dream Magic in Jewish Grimoires

Tuesday, June 10

9:00-10:30 Session 6, Chair: Shaul Shaked
Reimund Leicht, The Fragmentary Hebrew Translation of the Picatrix and its Sources
Matthew Morgenstern, Mandaean Grimoires and the Islamization of Iraqi Magic

10:30-11:00 Coffee break

11:00-12:30 Session 7, Chair: Richard Kieckhefer
Ronald Hutton, Is there a Continuous Tradition of Magical Knowledge in Western Cultures?
Benedek Láng, Encrypted Forms of Magic Knowledge: The Rhetoric of Secrecy

12:30-14:00 Lunch break

14:00-15:30 Session 8, Chair: Benedek Láng
Frank Klaasen, The Classic Grimoire and the Birth of Modern Magic
Peter Forshaw, From Sapientia Aeterna to Veritas Aeterna: The Magician in Search of Truth

15:30-16:00 Coffee break

16:00-17:30 Session 9, Chair: Reimund Leicht
Eliezer Papo, “A Threefold Cord is not Quickly Broken”: The Trichotomy of Sephardic Traditional Magic Incantations
Gideon Bohak, The Magical Recipe Books and Treatment Diaries of R. Yizhak Kaduri

20:00 Dinner (by invitation)

Wednesday, June 11

9:00-10:30 Session 10, Chair: Yosef Schwartz
Moshe Idel, Sefer Raziel [The Book of the Angel Raziel] and its Sources
Yossi Chajes, Practically Kabbalah: Ilanot Diagrams and their Deployments

10:30-11:00 Coffee break

11:00-12:30 Session 11, Chair: Rachel Werczberger
Helen Berger, But, What Are They Reading?: The Role of Books and Internet Sites in the International Contemporary Pagan Movement
Adam Klin-Oron, Pathways into Divinity: Channeling Manuals and Spontaneous Visions

12:30-14:00 Lunch break

14:00-14:30 Session 12, Chair: Claire Fanger
Richard Kieckhefer, Concluding Remarks

For further details, please contact Yuval Harari:

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