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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:52984
Doc. No:TL22938
Call number:‭3208512‬
Main Entry:Daniel R. Miller
Title & Author:Incantations in Ancient West Semitic Corpora and in the Hebrew Bible: Continuity and discontinuityDaniel R. Miller
College:University of Michigan
Date:2006
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2006
Page No:272
Abstract:This dissertation constitutes a comprehensive review and analysis of incantations of West Semitic provenience, extra-biblical and biblical, from the second and first millennia B.C.E. Recent discoveries and publications of texts from Syria-Palestine have furnished an ancient sample large enough to reward a systematic examination. Furthermore, no study of magic in the Hebrew Bible has focused specifically on the incantatory genre, nor has an attempt been made to ascertain how biblical incantatory passages might compare and contrast with antecedent and contemporaneous West Semitic incantations. Chapter 1 is devoted to (1) the history of scholarship in the field of magic and the difficulties besetting the theoretical discourse; (2) providing working definitions of "magic" and "incantation" applicable to both data sets; and (3) establishing the methodology to be employed, including the elaboration of an original classification system for incantations that is predicated on verb function: prescriptive, performative retroactive, performative active, and performative proactive. Chapters 2 and 3 examine the ancient West Semitic incantation corpora, with chapter 3 including concomitant discussion of those biblical passages associated in scholarship with only recently discovered first millennium B.C.E. Syro-Palestinian incantatory artifacts. Chapter 4 examines other incantatory passages embedded within the Hebrew Bible, and how they inhere within the ongoing developments taking place in the Yahwisms of the time. In Chapter 5 ("Conclusion"), an assessment is made of parallels and contrasts between the larger ancient West Semitic corpora and the biblical incantatory material; it is argued that there is greater discontinuity than continuity between the two data sets. Both exhibit the prescriptive, the performative active (although rare), and the motif of "the incantation fulfilled." Discontinuity, however, may be observed in (1) the lack of secure biblical use of the performative retroactive; (2) the (virtual) absence of the performative proactive outside the Hebrew Bible; (3) the directing of biblical incantations toward the sole purpose of general management of existence, as opposed to the additional apotropaic/exorcistic and therapeutic intentions found in the extra-biblical West Semitic corpora; and (4) the fact that biblical incantations, perhaps rather predictably, take place under the aegis of a single numen: the Israelite deity Yahweh.
Subject:Philosophy, religion and theology; Social sciences; Language, literature and linguistics; Ancient; Hebrew Bible; Incantations; Magic; Palestine; Semitic; Syria; Bible; Ancient civilizations; Ancient languages; 0579:Ancient civilizations; 0289:Ancient languages; 0321:Bible
Added Entry:B. B. Schmidt
Added Entry:University of Michigan