Download Descenders to the Chariot: The People Behind the Hekhalot by James Davila PDF

By James Davila

The Hekhalot literature is a weird and wonderful conglomeration of Jewish esoteric and revelatory texts in Hebrew and Aramaic, produced someday among past due antiquity and the early heart a long time and surviving in medieval manuscripts. those texts declare to explain the self-induced religious stories of the "descenders to the chariot" and to bare the concepts that accepted those magico-religious practitioners to view for themselves Ezekiel's Merkavah in addition to to achieve keep watch over of angels and a supernatural mastery of Torah. Drawing on epigraphic and archaeological proof from the center East, anthropological types, and a variety of cross-cultural facts, this e-book goals to teach that the Hekhalot literature preserves the lessons and rituals of genuine spiritual functionaries who flourished in overdue antiquity and who have been rather just like the functionaries anthropologists name shamans.

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Extra info for Descenders to the Chariot: The People Behind the Hekhalot Literature (Supplements to the Journal for the Study of Judaism)

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Evans-Pritchard, Witchcraft, Oracles and Magic among the Azande (Oxford Clarendon, 1937). I. M. Lewis, Ecstatic Religion: An Anthropological Study of Spirit Possession and Sh (Harmondsworth, England: Penguin, 1971). Lewis's insights have been applied use­ fully to prophecy in ancient Israel by Robert R. Wilson in Prophecy and Society in Ancient Israel (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1980); idem, Sociological Approaches to the Ol Testament (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1984) esp. pp. 67-80. 41 40 CHAPTER T W O Finally, proposals have been made in recent years to replace entirely the concept o f magic with clearer and m o r e descriptive terminology.

Idem, "An Aramaic Exorcism," AfO 12 (1937-39) 466-78; idem -"Aramaie-and Mandaic Magical -Bowls "--ArOr- 9 (1937) 84-106; idem, "Aramaic Incantation Bowls," Or 10 (1941) 116-41, 272-84, 339-60; idem, "Two Aramaic Incantations," in Biblical and Near Eastern Studies: Essays in Hono of William Sandford Lasor, ed. Gary A. : Eerdmans, 1978) 231-44; W. S. McCullough, Jewish and Mandaean Incantation Bowls in the Royal Onta Museum (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1967); Stephen A. Kaufman, "A Unique Magic Bowl from Nippur," JNES 32 (1973) 170-74; Charles D.

A n d in chapter 9, as part o f a con­ cluding survey o f the evidence analyzed in this book, I ask whether the descenders to the chariot can be considered magicians, as a result of either accusations directed against them or their own deHberate identification with socially labeled deviant ideas or practices. typology, magicians of this type would usually be engaging in "secret deviance," in which "an improper act is committed, yet no one notices it or reacts to it as a vio­ lation of the rules"- {Outsiders 20).

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