Online Lecture on Early Christian ‘Magic’

Dr. Shaily Shashikant Patel
Magic and Its Malcontents: Historiography as Heresiology

4pm Eastern, Thursday November 11, on Zoom
Register here:
Abrahamic Vernaculars Fall Series

Professor Patel’s research focuses on the various, often contradictory
ways in which so-called magic was used to advance a number of
theological ends in early Christian texts. Rather than seeing magic
solely as a way to malign the rituals and traditions of those external
to formative Christianity, she aims to show that magic could be used
for a variety of things, from enforcing social cohesion among budding
communities, to generating conversion, to correcting the views of
other Christian writers. Ancient Mediterranean magic was both dynamic
and complex, and Patel hopes to similarly complicate modern
understandings of ancient Christians and their texts in her current
book project entitled Peter the Magician: Discourses of Magic in Early
Petrine Traditions.