Monday, February 04, 2019

The Coptic magical papyri in context

THE COPTIC MAGICAL PAPYRI BLOG has been blogging up a storm with, inter alia, a six-part series on the papyri in their late-antique Egyptian religious context.

Religion in the Coptic Magical Papyri I: “Paganism” and Christianity
"While such mentions of traditional deities are relatively rare in Coptic texts, those that we do find are very interesting for our understanding of the development of the Coptic magical tradition, and of its ability to transmit and preserve knowledge of cults which had been lost in previous centuries."

Religion in the Coptic Magical Papyri II: Greek Gods in Coptic Magic
"Here we see one strange outcome of centuries of Hellenic culture in Egypt, the Greek gods as the secret names of the Christian devil."

Religion in the Coptic Magical Papyri III: Manichaeans and Magic
Includes a Lovecraftian exchange of letters between two Manichean magicians.

Religion in the Coptic Magical Papyri IV: Sethian Gnosticism and Magical Texts
"If this is the case, then magical and gnostic texts both provide us with independent vantage points on religious beliefs and practices beyond the narrowly defined orthodoxy."

Religion in Coptic Magic V: Magic and Gnostic Ritual
A magical papyrus that appears to make use of Sethian Gnostic myth and ritual.

Religion in the Magical Papyri VI: Christianity and Magic
"To the composer(s), compiler(s), and copyist of this text, orthodox Christianity offered possibilities for protective ritual practices just as rich as Egyptian or Greek 'paganism', or the complex cosmologies of 'gnosticism'."

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