Workshop on Text, Ritual and Magic (Helsinki, April 14-15)

The workshop focuses on the interface between texts and magical or ritual practices. As a starting point, we wish to question and deconstruct the dichotomy between magic and religion. We are particularly interested in texts as material artefacts and their magical and ritual uses as well as practices described in texts. The presentations cover a variety of source materials and methodological approaches as the workshop brings together scholars working in different fields. 

The workshop is to be held at University of Helsinki on April 14-15, 2015. It is organized by both the Centre of Excellence in Changes in Sacred Texts and Traditions and the Centre of Excellence in Reason and Religious Recognition.

Registration for this event is available at further information, please contact Outi LehtipuuHanne von Weissenberg or Jutta Jokiranta.

Preliminary program

Tuesday, April 14
Venue: Room 532 (Vuorikatu 3, 5th floor)

10.00–10.15 Words of Welcome
Outi Lehtipuu, Hanne von Weissenberg & Jutta Jokiranta (all University of Helsinki)
10.15–11.45 Reading texts in ritual and manuscript contexts: Recontextualizing 2 Baruch 72:1-73:2
Liv Ingeborg Lied (Norwegian School of Theology) – response: Martti Nissinen (University of Helsinki)
11.45–12.00 Break (with coffee and fruit)
12.00–13.30 Magical survivals? Late antique bishops and local religious practices
Maijastina Kahlos (University of Helsinki) – response: Anna-Liisa Tolonen (University of Helsinki)
13.3014.30 Light lunch
14.30–16.00 Miniature scripts and material: Physical features for classifying divinatory texts in the Judaean desert scrolls
Kipp Davis (University of Agder) – response: Hanne von Weissenberg (University of Helsinki)
16.0016.15 Break (with coffee and fruit)
16.15–17.45 Mysteries and Torah in 4QInstruction
Benjamin Wold (Trinity College Dublin) – response: Jeremy Penner (University of Helsinki)
19.00 Reception (including food and drinks)

Wednesday, April 15
Venue: Faculty Room (Vuorikatu 3, 5th floor)

10.00–11.30 Concern for non-human animals, piety and sacrifice in Porphyry’s ethics of On abstinence
Miira Tuominen (University of Jyväskylä) – response: Rikard Roitto (Stockholm School of Theology)
11.3011.45 Break (with coffee and fruit)
11.45–13.15 “Now you see it, now you don’t”: The magic of the sotah ritual (Numbers 5) in comparative context
David Shepherd (Trinity College Dublin) – response: Urmas Nõmmik (University of Tartu)
13.1514.15 Light lunch
14.15–15.45 Biblical References in Syriac Amulets: Historiolae, identity markers or what?
Nils Hallvard Korsvoll (Norwegian School of Theology) – response: Petri Luomanen (University of Helsinki)
15.45–16.00 Break (with coffee and fruit)
16.00–17.30 Ethiopian Magic Scrolls and Solomon the Magician.
Ewa Balicka-Witakowska (Uppsala University) – response: Outi Lehtipuu (University of Helsinki)
19.00 Closing dinner

Additional day, Thursday April 16
Venue: Faculty Room (Vuorikatu 3, 5th floor)

10.00–12.00 Lecture/workshop: What is new philology?
Liv Ingeborg Lied (Norwegian School of Theology)
16.00–18.00 Puukko Academy
Rikard Roitto (Stockholm School of Theology)


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