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Author Topic: Ancient Jewish Magic: A History  (Read 3723 times) Average Rating: 0
LyricFox
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« Topic Start: February 18, 2010, 08:56:01 pm »

Title: Ancient Jewish Magic: A History
Author(s): Gideon Bohak
Publisher: Cambridge, UK/New York:  Cambridge University Press
Publication Date: 2008
ISBN: 0521874572
ISBN-13:
Current Price and More Info from Amazon

From the Bryn Mawr Classic Review:
This learned and thoughtful book, building on the spate of publications of Jewish magical texts over the past thirty years (as well as the refinement of the study of magic in the ancient Mediterranean world), aims first of all to replace Ludwig Blau's 1914 Das Altjüdische Zauberwesen as the essential resource on ancient Jewish magic. But Bohak, who readers might know best for his superb on-line collection of University of Michigan magical texts is also a very engaging writer. In many ways, Ancient Jewish Magic reads more like an extended essay on the place of magic in developing Jewish religion than a systematic tour of sources. With amusing metaphors and asides about contemporary Israeli politics, and at the same time little jargon, the book deserves (and rewards) a leisurely read as much as reference consultation. (Indeed, the publishers seem to have opted against reference consultation. The Table of Contents is so woefully inadequate, lacking all Bohak's critical sub-sections, that the volume can be difficult to consult for particular topics).

Read the full review at the Bryn Mawr Classic Review web site.

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Discussion and reviews of this book are welcome in this thread. If you've read the book, please tell us what you think of it and why.
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« Reply #1: February 19, 2010, 08:41:15 am »


This learned and thoughtful book, building on the spate of publications of Jewish magical texts over the past thirty years (as well as the refinement of the study of magic in the ancient Mediterranean world), aims first of all to replace Ludwig Blau's 1914 Das Altjüdische Zauberwesen as the essential resource on ancient Jewish magic. But Bohak, who readers might know best for his superb on-line collection of University of Michigan magical texts is also a very engaging writer.


This sounds really interesting to me.  Unfortunately, I don't have time right now, but I might be able to check out the U of Michigan site.  I could talk a little about that as background for the author if you think that would be helpful.  I'm interested that the lists the Blau book as the "essential resource on ancient Jewish magic."  I would have likely said that Joshua Trachtenberg's book on the topic was the essential resource.  Of course I don't read German, so that source might have gone right past me.

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« Reply #2: February 19, 2010, 10:07:35 am »

This sounds really interesting to me.  Unfortunately, I don't have time right now, but I might be able to check out the U of Michigan site.  I could talk a little about that as background for the author if you think that would be helpful.  I'm interested that the lists the Blau book as the "essential resource on ancient Jewish magic."  I would have likely said that Joshua Trachtenberg's book on the topic was the essential resource.  Of course I don't read German, so that source might have gone right past me.

Sperran

I was hoping you'd come in on this one. I suspect any information you can post on this would be helpful. I think there's a lot of confusion about Jewish magic and mysticism.
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« Reply #3: February 19, 2010, 10:49:54 am »

I was hoping you'd come in on this one. I suspect any information you can post on this would be helpful. I think there's a lot of confusion about Jewish magic and mysticism.

The whole area is confusing; I can't pretend to be any sort of expert, but I will be happy to help any way I can.
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« Reply #4: February 20, 2010, 03:53:18 pm »



[color=red][size=12pt]Discussion and reviews of this book are welcome in this thread. If you've read the book, please tell us what you think of it and why.[/size][/color]


Well, I went and looked at the online stuff.  It was not focused on Jewish magic at all, but encompassed a variety of different magic systems from ancient times. 

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