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Daughters of HecateWomen and Magic in the Ancient World$
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Kimberly B. Stratton and Dayna S. Kalleres

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780195342703

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195342703.001.0001

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Gendering Heavenly Secrets?

Gendering Heavenly Secrets?

Women, Angels, and the Problem of Misogyny and “Magic”

Chapter:
(p.108) 4 Gendering Heavenly Secrets?
Source:
Daughters of Hecate
Author(s):

Annette Yoshiko Reed

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195342703.003.0004

This chapter traces the tradition of the Fallen Angels (Gen 6) through the manuscript tradition of 1 Enoch and Testament of Reuben. It discovers that great variability in the transmission of this story reveals changing interpretations of it over time and in different geographic and socio-religious settings. Earliest versions do not appear to blame women for the fall, nor to identify the forbidden knowledge passed to them by their angelic paramours as “magic.” Later traditions, especially those influenced by the developing Greek discourse of magic, do identify women with magic (pharmakeia). The chapter examines how modern concerns with gender and preconceptions about ancient misogyny predetermine our readings of these texts in circular ways, preventing other concerns from being noticed, such as anxiety over the power of sight.

Keywords:   Enoch, fallen angels, sight, magic, forbidden knowledge, Testament of Reuben, misogyny, pharmakeia

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