Scripted Forms of Magic Knowledge – Grimoires in the Matrix of Western Cultures

Event date: June 8 - June 11, 2014

    Yuval Harari (Ben-Gurion University)


    Magic was practiced in Western cultures from the very beginning of their textually and archaeologically recorded history, and it still functions in many societies in the West today. Magic knowledge made its way from one agent to another, from one culture to another, and from one generation to the other in both oral and written forms. The veil of time covers completely the oral traditions and transmissions of magic knowledge. Written forms however, survived in a multitude of manuscripts originating in almost every culture and written in almost every language from the Greco-Roman world until the 21st century. "Pagans," Jews, Muslims, Christians, occultists and Neo-Pagans, have all been participating in an ongoing process of creating and recreating, absorbing and modifying, accumulating and transmitting magic knowledge. This knowledge, and especially the various ways in which it was scripturally manifested throughout history, are at the core of this workshop. During four days of discussions, experts on magic texts and cultures in Antiquity, early and medieval Christianity, Judaism (past to present), Islam, the Renaissance, the modern West, and new Age movements will jointly discuss grimoires, the information embedded in them and the cultural phenomena they reflect.