Encountering evil: apotropaic magic in the Dead Sea scrolls

Guerra Guimaraes da Silva, Tupa (2017). Encountering evil: apotropaic magic in the Dead Sea scrolls. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This thesis critically examines apotropaic magical texts from the Dead Sea Scrolls found at and near Qumran. It focuses on the danger of an encounter with and ways of protection against evil beings. Magic is employed as a scholarly description for a series of accounts of activities that are conceived of and probably performed with the purpose of altering reality by protecting an individual or a group of people. Seven texts will be analysed, namely: Apocryphal Psalms-11Q11; 4QExorcism ar-4Q560; Songs of the Sagea-4Q510; Songs of the Sageb-4Q511; 8QHymn- 8Q5; 6QpapHymn- 6Q18; and 4QIncantation- 4Q444. The methodology focuses on a separation between active and passive agents, placing action and performance at the centre of the research. This perspective reveals a richer and more complex picture than the dominance of a small number of personalized figures in the first publication wave of Scrolls suggested. The range of evil beings reflected in the full corpus attests multiple phenomena, emerging from an array of miscellaneous traditions. The idea of fear and an atmosphere of constant threat of an encounter with the malevolent influence of evil figures emerges as a prominent feature in the selected texts.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/7877


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