Ancient Christian Magic by Marvin W. Meyer
Coptic Texts of Ritual Power

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This provocative collection of rites, spells, amulets, curses, and recipes of the early Coptic Christians documents Christianity as a living folk religion resembling other popular belief systems - something quite different from what theo-logical and doctrinal traditions have led us to believe. Like The Nag Hammadi Library, this extraordinary collection of little known incantatory texts radically alters our perception of Christianity as primarily a highly theological and orthodox tradition. These texts and illustrations show that the folk practices of the earliest Christians are quite similar to the day-to-day beliefs and rituals of spirituality that imbue indigenous primal religions and popular religion generally. Placing these previously unknown ancient texts in historical context and explaining their significance, Marvin Meyer and Richard Smith also reveal the place of healing, prayer, miracles, and magic in the Christian teaching practice. Illustrated with line drawings and photographs from the original ancient documents and containing a plethora of rituals, curses, and spells, Ancient Christian Magic is the practical and liturgical companion to the narrative and theological texts of The Nag Hammadi Library.

About Marvin W. Meyer

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Marvin W. Meyer is Professor of Religious Studies at Chapman University. He has written and edited numerous books, including The Unknown Sayings of Jesus and Ancient Magic and Ritual Power. He is a research project director at the Institute for Antiquity and Christianity, Claremont Graduate School, and codirector of the Albert Schweitzer Institute.
Published March 1, 1994 by Harpercollins. 407 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Religion & Spirituality, History, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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For too long, the editors contend, scholars have tended to draw distinctions between what is called ``religion'' and what is termed mere ``magic.'' In an effort to help reverse this trend, they have assembled a large number of texts from ancient Egypt that were purported by their Christian users ...

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Publishers Weekly

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Traditionalists may find heretical the use of ``Christian'' as a modifier for ``magic.'' But it's an apt combination for this gathering of previously untranslated curses, recipes and spells ritualistically cast by Egyptian Christians.

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