Tuesday, October 18, 2011

New Book: Ancient Egyptian Demonology


Ancient Egyptian Demonology. Studies on the Boundaries between the Demonic and the Divine in Egyptian Magic. Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta, 175. Editor: Kousoulis P., 2011.

In the Egyptian context, what we term magic and demon, drawing on our own cultural heritage, are not seen as negative aspects of cultural practice and conceptualisation. Similarly, the Egyptian equivalents do not carry the pejorative connotations borne by the modern terms and their Greek antecedents; magic and demons can be forces for good as well as evil. Indeed, the practice of magic and the conceptualisation of personified demonic agents are central to the Egyptian understanding of the workings of the world from the very continuation of the cosmos itself down to the vicissitudes of existence faced by individuals. In particular, the broader practice of magic and articulation of the involvement of demonic agency form one of the crucial links in Ancient Egypt between individual existence on the human level and the level of nature or the cosmos, the realm of the gods.

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