Making Amulets Christian

Artefacts, Scribes, and Contexts

Reddit icon
e-mail icon
Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Google icon
LinkedIn icon
Theodore de Bruyn
Oxford Early Christian Texts
  • Oxford, England: 
    Oxford University Press
    , July
     2017.
     320 pages.
     $90.00.
     Hardcover.
    ISBN
    9780199687886.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Melody Everest forthcoming.

Description

Making Amulets Christian: Artefacts, Scribes, and Contexts examines Greek amulets with Christian elements from late antique Egypt in order to discern the processes whereby a customary practice—the writing of incantations on amulets—changed in an increasingly Christian context. It considers how the formulation of incantations and amulets changed as the Christian church became the prevailing religious institution in Egypt in the last centuries of the Roman empire. Theodore de Bruyn investigates what we can learn from incantations and amulets containing Christian elements about the cultural and social location of the people who wrote them. He shows how incantations and amulets were indebted to rituals or ritualizing behaviour of Christians.

This study analyzes different types of amulets and the ways in which they incorporate Christian elements. By comparing the formulation and writing of individual amulets that are similar to one another, one can observe differences in the culture of the scribes of these materials. It argues for 'conditioned individuality' in the production of amulets. On the one hand, amulets manifest qualities that reflect the training and culture of the individual writer. On the other hand, amulets reveal that individual writers were shaped, whether consciously or inadvertently, by the resources they drew upon-by what is called 'tradition' in the field of religious studies.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Theodore de Bruyn is associate professor in the department of classics and religious studies at the University of Ottawa. He has studied aspects of Christianity from antiquity to the early modern period. He is the co-editor of Patristic Studies in the Twenty-First Century (Brepols, 2015).

Keywords: 

Add New Comment

Reading Religion welcomes comments from AAR members, and you may leave a comment below by logging in with your AAR Member ID and password. Please read our policy on commenting.

Log in to post comments