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Bibil Identifier bibil:203786
Publication Type Journal article
Title (English, Long) Enchanting Rabbis: Contest Narratives between Rabbis and Magicians in Late Antiquity
Author Levinson, Joshua
Journal Jewish Quarterly Review (Volume: 100, Issue: 1)
Year (Publication) 2010
Year (Original (1st Edition)) 2010
Year (Copyright) 2010
Year (Reference) 2010
Year (Second publication) 2010
Language English
Pages 54-94 Pages
Genre Original
Abstract "Sorcerers," said R. Yochanan, "contradict the heavenly household" and oppose the divine will. So begins one of the major Talmudic discussions of magic (bSan 67b). This conception of magic bestows tremendous power in the hands of the magician creating an autonomous realm where the human and divine vie for supremacy. How did the Rabbis imagine the realm of magic and what brought them to so empower their adversaries? This is the question I wish to address by examining some of the 'contest-narratives' between rabbis and magicians in rabbinic literature, concentrating mostly on a comparison between a discussion that appears in the Babylonian Talmud (bSan 67b-68a) and its Palestinian parallel (ySan 25d). I suggest that there are marked differences between how the two Talmudic discussions represent magic and its menace. While the Palestinian Talmud presents these contests through a discourse of power and identity, the Bavli constructs its view of magic by means of a discourse of knowledge. This difference has important ramifications for rabbinic self-fashioning and its strategies for imagining and negotiating identity; both their's and their others.
DOI 10.1353/jqr.2010.0000
Keywords Thesaurus BiBIL : Unbound Keywords : Magic
Thesaurus BiBIL : Milieu : Ancient Judaism : Literature : Talmud (Babli and Yerushalmi)
Last modification 2017-10-27