Assignment #5

1. On your own, read the following:

a) Holtz, pages 129-136, introduction to the Mishnah
b) Michael Swartz, Scholastic Magic, pages 18-25 and pages 191-196 (E-Res)
c) Tom Driver: Transformation: the Magic of Ritual (also on E-Res)

2. With your study partner read the excerpts from the magical texts for this week: the Sefer Ha Razim, and the two magical texts in Scholastic Magic, pages 75-77, and 110-114.

3. Find three characteristics, ideas, or assumptions in these documents that seem familiar to you from gnostic literature, mishnaic or midrashic literature, or Hellenistic piety as described by Luther Martin. Which literature (if any) does it most remind you of?

4.What's your reaction to this kind of literature? Does it seem religious to you? Why or why not? What's the relationship (if any) between magic and religion?

5. Write up the results of your discussion in a 1-2 page typed paper and come to class prepared to discuss.