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Miracle And Magic

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Overview

Miracle-workers and magicians are diffcult characters for contemporary readers of Greco-Roman narratives to comprehend and to distinguish. Hindered both by our modern definitions of "miracle" and "magic," we need to focus our attention on those ancient texts that deal with such characters and their differentiation. Two such texts, the Acts of the Apostles and Philostratus' Life of Apollonius, come from quite different religious backgrounds, but demonstrate remarkably similar subtle cultural scripts at play. A detailed investigation of the social interactions in these two narrative worlds brings these characters and their communities alive and reveals how legitimate miracle-workers were distinguished from illegitimate magicians by the Mediterranean population of the Greco-Roman world.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Andy Reimer is Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies at the Canadian Bible College, Saskatchewan.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Abbreviations
Ch. 1 Miracle, Magic and Methodology 1
Prologue: Strange Characters in a Strange World 1
Problematic Definitions: 'Miracle' and 'Magic' 3
Moving Beyond Relative Definitions 10
Methodological Considerations 14
Ch. 2 Gaining Power 47
Identifying the Intermediaries 48
Excursus: Clarifying the Intermediary Status of Apollonius 51
Withdrawal from the Social Network 62
Performing the Miraculous 88
Avoiding Ambition 115
Ch. 3 Intersecting Power 142
Intersecting Established Religious Communities and Cults 143
Intermediaries within their Own Community 175
Crossing Paths with Political Authorities 187
Ch. 4 Defending Power 212
The Charges against Miracle-Workers 212
The Intermediary's Defence 225
Ch. 5 Concluding Thoughts 245
Miracle and Magic: The Criteria in Context in Acts and Life of Apollonius 245
From 'Narrative World' to 'Historical World': Further Testing and Application 250
Bibliography 253
Index of References 266
Index of Authors 275
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