By Michael D. Swartz
In exploring the social heritage of early Jewish mysticism, Scholastic Magic tells the tale of the way mind's eye and magic have been made to serve reminiscence and scholasticism. within the visionary literature that circulated among the 5th and 9th centuries, there are unusual stories of old rabbis conjuring the angel referred to as Sar-Torah, the "Prince of the Torah." This angel endowed the rabbis themselves with marvelous reminiscence and talent in studying, after which taught them the formulation for giving others those presents. This literature, in line with Michael Swartz, supplies us infrequent glimpses of the way old and medieval Jews who stood outdoors the mainstream of rabbinic management considered Torah and formality. via shut readings of the texts, he uncovers surprising dimensions of the classical Judaic concept of Torah and the rabbinic civilization that cast them.
Swartz units the degree for his research with a dialogue of where of reminiscence and orality in historical and medieval Judaism and the way early academic and physiological theories have been marshaled for the cultivation of reminiscence. He then examines the weird magical rituals for conjuring angels and ascending to heaven in addition to the authors' attitudes to authority and culture, displaying them to have subverted crucial rabbinic values whilst they remained beholden to them. the result's a ground-breaking research of the social and conceptual history of rabbinic Judaism and historic Mediterranean religions. supplying whole translations of the imperative Sar-Torah texts, Scholastic Magic becomes crucial examining for these drawn to religions within the historic and medieval international, ritual experiences, and renowned religion.
Originally released in 1996.
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