Rebecca Lesses

Rebecca Lesses

Associate Professor and Jewish Studies Coordinator, Jewish Studies
Faculty, School of Humanities and Sciences
Faculty, Medieval and Renaissance Studies
Faculty, Women's and Gender Studies

Table of Contents for Course Reader

  1. Fiona Bowie, The Anthropology of Religion, pp. 1-37: “Theories and Controversies”
  2. Michael D. Bailey, “The Meanings of Magic,” in Magic, Ritual, and Witchcraft 1 (2006) 1-23.
  3. Selections from Magic, Science, and Religion, by Bronislaw Malinowski (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1984)
  4. George Gmelch, “Baseball Magic,” in James Spradley, et al, eds., Conformity and Conflict (Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 2003)
  5. Fiona Bowie, The Anthropology of Religion, pp. 151-176: “Ritual Theory, Rites of Passage, and Ritual Violence”
  6. Mary Douglas, Purity and Danger, pp. 41-57: “The Abominations of Leviticus”
  7. Mary Douglas, Purity and Danger, pp. 58-72: “Magic and Miracle”
  8. Don Yoder, “Toward a Definition of Folk Religion,” Western Folklore 33 (1974) 2-15
  9. Susan Sered, “The Domestication of Religion: The Spiritual Guardianship of Elderly Jewish Women,” Man 23 (1988) 506-521.
  10. Biblical sources on magic, witchcraft, and divination
  11. Categories of magic in the Babylonian Talmud
  12. Amulets and Medical Remedies in the Babylonian Talmud
  13. Demons in the Babylonian Talmud
  14. Aramaic Incantation Bowls and Metal Amulets from Israel
  15. Rebecca Lesses, “Image and Word: Performative Ritual and Material Culture in the Aramaic Incantation Bowls
  16. Rebecca Lesses, “Exe(o)rcising Power: Women as Sorceresses, Exorcists, and Demonesses in Babylonian Jewish Society of Late Antiquity,” JAAR 69 (2001).
  17. Hans Dieter Betz, “Introduction to the Greek Magical Papyri,” and selected texts, in The Greek Magical Papyri in Translation (Chicago, 1986)
  18. Selections from Sepher ha-Razim, trans. by Michael A. Morgan (Chico, CA: Scholars Press, 1983)
  19. Philip S. Alexander, “Sefer ha-Razim and the Problem of Black Magic in Early Judaism,” in Todd E. Klutz, ed., Magic in the Biblical World (London: T&T Clark, 2003).
  20. Peter Schäfer, “Jewish Magic Literature in Late Antiquity and Early Middle Ages,” Journal of Jewish Studies.
  21. Rebecca Lesses, “Introduction to the Hekhalot Literature and Other Ritual Literature of Late Antiquity”
  22. Rebecca Lesses, “Adjurations as Performance”
  23. Hekhalot adjurations: Sar Torah, Chapter of Rabbi Ne˙uniah ben HaQanah, Adjuration of the Prince of the Presence
  24. Lawrence H. Schiffman and Michael D. Swartz, selections from Hebrew and Aramaic Incantation Texts from the Cairo Genizah.
  25. The Legend of Lilith
  26. Adjuration of Katviel from manuscript Sassoon 290
  27. R. Po-Chia Hsia, “Jewish Magic in Early Modern Germany,” in Steven Ozment, ed., Religion and Culture in the Renaissance and Reformation (Kirksville, MO: Sixteenth Century Journal Publication, 1989) 81-97.
  28. Zion Zohar, “Pulsa De-Nura: The Innovation of Modern Magic and Ritual,” Modern Judaism 27 (2007) 72-99.
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