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Possible Psychological Roles of the Aramaic Incantation Bowls: Therapeutic Functions of Belief in Demons and the Practice of Incantations

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Markham Geller’s work on belief in ancient Mesopotamian demons draws on Freudian psychology to demonstrate that this belief may have had specific psychological benefits. It offers a promising perspective from which to study the Aramaic incantation bowls with a view to establishing the possible psychological roles played by these texts. This article develops Geller’s work and applies the resulting understanding of belief in demons to the Aramaic incantation bowls. Through a textual analysis it suggests possible meanings for some features of the texts and argues that these incantations may have had empirically effective therapeutic functions.

Affiliations: 1: University of Exeter, UK hewalker2@gmail.com

10.1163/17455227-01301008
/content/journals/10.1163/17455227-01301008
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/content/journals/10.1163/17455227-01301008
2015-01-01
2018-04-24

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