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Ancient Christian Magic:
Coptic Texts of Ritual Power

by Marvin W. Meyer, Richard Smith

ISBN 0060655844 / 9780060655846 / 0-06-065584-4
Publisher Harper San Francisco
Language English
Edition Softcover
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Book summary

This provocative collection of rites, spells, amulets, curses, and recipes of the early Coptic Christians documents Christianity as a living folk religion resembling other popular belief systems - something quite different from what theo-logical and doctrinal traditions have led us to believe. Like The Nag Hammadi Library, this extraordinary collection of little known incantatory texts radically alters our perception of Christianity as primarily a highly theological and orthodox tradition. These texts and illustrations show that the folk practices of the earliest Christians are quite similar to the day-to-day beliefs and rituals of spirituality that imbue indigenous primal religions and popular religion generally. Placing these previously unknown ancient texts in historical context and explaining their significance, Marvin Meyer and Richard Smith also reveal the place of healing, prayer, miracles, and magic in the Christian teaching practice. Illustrated with line drawings and photographs from the original ancient documents and containing a plethora of rituals, curses, and spells, Ancient Christian Magic is the practical and liturgical companion to the narrative and theological texts of The Nag Hammadi Library. [via]