Magic in Christianity:
From Jesus to Gnosticism
Robert Conner

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9781906958619b


Format: Softcover
ISBN: 978-1-906958-61-9
£14.99/US$28
Subjects: Religious Studies/Gnosticism/Magic

The world of Jesus and the early Christians swarmed with prophets and exorcists, holy men and healers, who invoked angels and demons, gods and ghosts. Magic in Christianity: From Jesus to the Gnostics explores that world through the surviving texts of the first Christians and their pagan and Jewish contemporaries.

Ecstatic spirit possession, handing opponents over to Satan, sending demons into swine, striking others dead on the spot by pronouncing curses, using articles of clothing and parts of corpses to perform magical healing and exorcism, invoking ghosts and angels for protection—these are all ancient Christian practices described in the New Testament, explained in detail by early Christian writers, and preserved by Christian amulets.

Pagans and Jews accused Jesus and his followers of practicing magic and Christians accused one another of sorcery. Both pagan and early orthodox writers describe the rituals of the gnostic sects in detail, including the magical passwords required to cross through the gates of the lower heavens.

Magic in Christianity: From Jesus to the Gnostics examines evidence from the New Testament, the first Christian apologists, early apocryphal works, curse tablets and amulets to reconstruct the apocalyptic magical world of Jesus and the first Christians.

“a compelling and striking exemplar of why independent scholarship is such an important facet of the academic studies…Recommended.”
– Dale Evans, Ph.D., review of Jesus the Sorcerer, Journal for the Academic Study of Magic.

“a fascinating and thought provoking read…one of the most learned works I have had the opportunity to read in this genre.”
– Eric W. Northway, Ph.D., review of Magic in the New Testament, The Pomegranate: The International Journal of Pagan Studies.

Robert Conner

Robert studied biblical (better called “Helenistic” or “koine”) Greek in the early 1970s, also biblical Hebrew, Aramaic and Coptic. His professors were Margaret Howe and Ronald Veenker, both now retired. Neither of them endorse or approve of his theories, especially those in Jesus the Sorcerer. Robert made a detailed study of the Greek New Testament although he is agnostic about all supernatural claims. Our best surviving evidence on Jesus is that he was one of many local apocalyptic Jewish prophets, likely reacting to the presence of Romans and Roman influence in Palestine. Like similar figures, Jesus was an ecstatic performer who did healing and exorcism (a quintessentially Jewish preoccupation), and displayed other charismatic “gifts” such as mind reading as proof of his prophetic calling. He was, as Morton Smith pointed out, what both ancient and modern people would regard as a “magician,” but he preached the coming of an apocalyptic judgment that would come within his generation and that, obviously, did not happen.

Robert’s current focus is how the study of consciousness might increase our understanding of paranormal phenomena.

Podcast: 1. Magic in Christianity with Robert Conner – AeonByte’s library
www.youtube.com/watch?v=vGRd14G6dmA

New essay from Scribd:

The Secret Gospel of Mark (Bonus Essay)
www.scribd.com/doc/36964375/The-Secret-Gospel-of-Mark-A-Letter-to-Theodore

The Shadow as a Magical Assistant (Bonus Essay)
www.scribd.com/doc/70353722/The-Shadow-as-a-Magical-Assistant

Jesus The Sorcerer
Robert Conner


Format: Softcover
ISBN: 978-1869928-957
£12.99/US$26
Subjects: Christian Magic

The most complete summation to date of the New Testament evidence for magical practice by Jesus and the early Christians. The very notion of Jesus being a sorcerer runs so against the grain of the Western cultural myth that even non-Christians are likely to find it far-fetched or even vaguely disturbing. Nevertheless, scholars steadily accumulated evidence for magi-cal practices in the New Testament throughout much of the 20th century . It is that ever expanding body of knowledge that has made this book possible. This book examines the following: The nature of the earliest Christian documents, the defects of their trans-mission, and the evidence for the suppression of descriptions of magical acts.

The closely related problem of the New Testament accounts as historical sources.

The radically apocalyptic nature of Jesus’ message and the expectations of the early church.

The failure of the apocalypse to occur and the theological reaction to that failure.

The role of magic and mystery religion in early Christianity.

A revisiting of the story of the “beloved disciple” and what it may tell us about Jesus and suppression of evidence about his life.

 

Contents

Documentary Evidence / Infancy Narratives / Confrontation / Resurrection as Ghost Story /Apocalyptic Prophet / Apocalypse Postponed, / Magic and Mystery, / Jesus the Magician / Spirit Versus Spirit, / Ecstatic Inner Circle, / Christian Mysteries, / Secret Gospel of Mark, / Beloved Disciple, / On the Use of youth in Magic, / Apocalypse, Magic, and Christianity, / “son of David.” / Mary Magdalene

Magic in The New Testament
Robert Conner


Format: Softcover
ISBN: 978-1906958-275
£14.99/US$23
Subjects: Christian Magic

Early Christians were accused of practicing magic by Jews, Pagans, and other Christians. Magic in the New Testament examines magical praxis common to the New Testament, the magical papyri, the Sepher Ha-Razim, the Book of Enoch, the apocryphal Acts and the pre-Nicene church fathers and surveys the professional literature on early Christian magic from Additional topic include:

magic, family and sexuality /

the Old Testament background of early Christian magic /

the relationship between magic and apocalypticism /

veneration of relics and necromantic sorcery /

resurrection, ghost stories and polymorphism /

magic and mystery cult in early Christianity.

 

The Question of Sources / The Holy Family / The Looming Apocalypse / The Final Confrontation / Resurrection or Ghost Story?/Magical Palestine / Jesus the Magician / A Darker Sorcery / Christian Necromancy / Cults of Possession / Spirit Versus Spirit / The Christian Mysteries/The Son of Horus / Last Rite