MARTOR no. 28 / year 2023

New Insights on Magic and Early Christianity

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Hajnalka Tamás
“Babeș-Bolyai” University, Romania
ORCID: 0000-0002-0985-2862

Hajnalka Tamás, PhD (2014), is Teaching Associate at the Department of Classical Languages and Literatures, “Babeș-Bolyai” University, Cluj-Napoca (Romania). Her research focuses on Late Antiquity and the formation of Christian identity in its various facets.

PAGES: 237-241

KEYWORDS: Ancient magic; religion; hypercriticism; rural Christianity; Maximus of Turin.


In this note I present two contributions in recently published edited volumes. Through the lenses of scholarship on ancient magic, these may bring intriguing perspectives to the study of early Christianity. The first (Sanzo 2020) is an illustrated discussion on the heuristic utility of the category “(ancient) magic.” In the course of his analysis, the author reflects also on how applying a balanced and nuanced approach could help the scholar explore certain aspects of early Christianity over against the social and cultural environment in which it developed. The second (Conti 2022) observes, starting from the sermons of Maximus of Turin, the challenges inherent to the process of Christianisation in Late Antiquity. Among other merits, it draws attention to the specifics of Christianisation in rural regions, where practices labelled later as “magical” were part and parcel of the rhythm of life, as opposed to the (far better documented) urban context. The contribution shows the importance of addressing these specifics in order to properly understand e.g., the mechanisms of transition to the Middle Ages.


Tamás, Hajnalka. 2023. “New Insights on Magic and Early Christianity.”Martor 28: 237-241. [DOI: 10.57225/martor.2023.28. 17]

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