Naming the Witch: Magic, Ideology, and Stereotype in the Ancient World (Gender, Theory, and Religion)

Naming the Witch: Magic, Ideology, and Stereotype in the Ancient World (Gender, Theory, and Religion)

Kimberly B. Stratton


Kimberly B. Stratton investigates the cultural and ideological motivations in the back of early imaginings of the magician, the sorceress, and the witch within the old global. Accusations of magic may hold the loss of life penalty or, at least, marginalize the individual or crew they particular. yet Stratton strikes past the preferred view of those accusations as mere slander. In her view, representations and accusations of sorcery reflect the advanced fight of old societies to outline authority, legitimacy, and Otherness.

Stratton argues that the idea that "magic" first emerged as a discourse in old Athens the place it operated half and parcel of the fight to outline Greek id against the uncivilized "barbarian" following the Persian Wars. the assumption of magic then unfold during the Hellenized international and Rome, reflecting and adapting to political forces, values, and social matters in each one society. Stratton considers the portrayal of witches and magicians within the literature of 4 comparable sessions and cultures: classical Athens, early imperial Rome, pre-Constantine Christianity, and rabbinic Judaism. She compares styles of their representations of magic and analyzes the connection among those stereotypes and the social components that formed them.

Stratton's comparative process illuminates the measure to which magic used to be (and nonetheless is) a cultural build that depended upon and mirrored specific social contexts. in contrast to so much past reports of magic, which handled the classical global individually from old Judaism, Naming the Witch highlights the measure to which those historical cultures shared rules approximately energy and legit authority, even whereas developing and deploying these principles in several methods. The publication additionally interrogates the typical organization of ladies with magic, denaturalizing the gendered stereotype within the technique. Drawing on Michel Foucault's concept of discourse in addition to the paintings of different modern theorists, resembling Homi ok. Bhabha and Bruce Lincoln, Stratton's bewitching research provides a extra nuanced, ideologically delicate method of knowing the witch in Western history.

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